§ Baroness Miller of Hendon
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Further to the Answer by the Lord Sainsbury of Turville on 11 February (HL Deb, col. 1100), whether they consider that small businesses in the United Kingdom have faced any additional burden in (a) taxation and (b) regulation since 1997; and, if so. how they expect such business to overcome those burdens. [HL1386]
§ Lord Sainsbury of Turville
On the contrary, the Government have abolished or cut the corporation tax hill for around 500,000 small firms and since April 2003 firms with turnovers of £56,000 or less have not had to register for, or pay, VAT. Increasing the audit exemption thresholds, which will take effect in relation to financial years ending on or after 30 March 2004, is expected to exempt 69,000 more companies from the requirement to have their accounts audited and is expected to save companies at least £94 million a year.
We regulate only when it is both necessary and desirable, for example, to ensure fairness at work, better health and safety or a cleaner environment. Indeed the World Bank's Doing Business in 2004 (published in October 2003) named the UK among 10 countries out of 130 with the least regulation.