§ 16. Mr. John Marshall
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement about prospects for business investment in 1997. 
§ Mr. Waldegrave
The prospects for business are excellent. The Government's policies have produced low inflation and steady growth, and low interest and tax rates. Demand has strengthened and profitability is high. The latest CBI and British chambers of commerce surveys show that companies are expecting to increase investment in plant and machinery in 1997. The current climate is one in which businesses can expand and invest with confidence.