Below is the text of Mr Major's written Parliamentary Answer on Small Businesses on 21st July 1988.
Mr. David Shaw To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will make a statement on the achievements of his Department and his policies in helping small businesses over the last 12 months compared with the previous 12 months; and if he will publish the performance indicators by which his Department monitors those achievements and the statistical results of such monitoring.
Mr. Major [holding answer 19 July 1988]: The Government's economic policies are designed to maintain a vigorous economy in which business and enterprise can flourish. Among the specific measures helpful to small businesses introduced in the last Budget were:
Small companies' rate of corporation tax reduced to 25 per cent.
Basic rate of income tax reduced to 25p and higher rates above 40 per cent. abolished (benefits unincorporated businesses).
Capital gains rebased to 1982.
Capital gains retirement relief increased.
Inheritance tax threshold increased to £110,000 and four rates replaced by single rate of 40 per cent.
Capital duty abolished.
£0.5 million limit introduced on amount most companies can raise under business expansion scheme to target relief on smaller companies.
Further improvements to employee share schemes.
VAT registration threshold increased to £22,100, maximum permissible under EC law.
Easing of VAT registration requirements.