§ Mr. Laws
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimate is of the cost of reducing the minimum holding period for(a) investments under the Enterprise Investment Scheme and (b) for venture capital trusts, as announced in the March 2000 Budget, for each year from 2000–01 to 2005–06; what economic benefits have resulted from these changes; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Dawn Primarolo
The forecast cost of reducing the minimum holding period for investment in the Enterprise Investment Scheme and Venture Capital Trust scheme was given in the Financial Statement and Budget Report 2003 (HC 500).
In April 2003, the Inland Revenue published research into the EIS and VCT schemes carried out by PACEC and the Centre for Business Research at the University of Cambridge (available at http://home.inrev.gov.uk/inland revenue/research/report.pdf). This research concluded that both schemes have met their objectives of encouraging more investment by individuals in smaller, high risk trading companies, which in turn has increased their potential to grow and become successful. The research did not measure the benefits of the holding period change specifically, but found that, of those existing investors that were aware of any changes made to the schemes, up to half would be more likely to invest through the schemes in future as a result.