§ John Healey
The Chancellor meets regularly with representatives of industry to discuss a wide range of issues, including the pre-Budget report.465W
PBR 2002 continues the Government's programme of microeconomic reform, targeting historic weakness in the key drivers of productivity performance:
- Strengthening the competition regime through the Enterprise Act
- Promoting enterprise by modernising the UK's business tax regime, and promoting an entrepreneurial culture
- Supporting science and innovation through the Government's comprehensive science strategy, and announcing two complementary reviews into business innovation and university-business links
- improving UK skills through measures to support the expansion and improvement of the Modern Apprenticeship scheme, and by expanding the employer training pilots to improve work force skills
- Promoting investment by reforming the planning system.
§ 21. Dr. Palmer
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on his discussions within the EU on reforms to the Stability and Growth Pact. 
§ Ruth Kelly
I refer my hon. Friend to the comments made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer at Treasury oral questions on 7 November 2002,Official Report, columns 413–16.
§ Mr. Brazier
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what representations he received in advance of the pre-Budget report from members of the manufacturing industry regarding competitiveness. 
§ John Healey
The Chancellor meets regularly with representatives of manufacturing industry to discuss a wide range of issues, including the pre-Budget report.
The pre-Budget report confirms the Government's agenda to promote productivity, growth and employment. The Government are demonstrating their support for manufacturers by:
- Making enhanced investment allowances for small and medium sized firms permanent.
- Providing R&D tax credits to all companies, which will overwhelmingly benefit manufacturers, who undertake most of the UK's business R&D.
- Creating venture capital funds in every English region providing £270 million (including up to £8 million of Government funding) for investment in small firms with high growth potential.
- Establishing the Small Business Service to ensure that the interests and concerns of small firms are properly reflected in Government policy and programmes.
- Strengthening the Regional Development Agencies (RDA), whose key role is promoting business efficiency, investment and competitiveness.
- Establishing regional centres of manufacturing excellence in every region of England and Wales.