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Mr. Spring: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform how many businesses have (a) registered and (b) deregistered for VAT in (i) the East of England and (ii) Suffolk in each of the last five years. 
Mr. Timms: The number of new VAT registrations and de-registrations in the East of England and Suffolk are shown in the table for 2002 to 2006, alongside the total number of VAT registered businesses at the start of each year. Data for registrations and de-registrations in 2007 will be available in autumn 2008.
|Number of VAT registrations, de-registrations and VAT registered businesses in the East of England and Suffolk county|
| Source: Business start-ups and closures: VAT registrations and de-registrations in 2006 available at http://stats.berr.gov.uk/ed/vat/index.htm|
Although the number of registrations and de-registrations in both areas has fluctuated over the period, the total number of VAT registered businesses in Suffolk has increased from 22,520 at the start of 2002 to 24,360 at the start of 2007, an increase of 1,840 (8 per cent.). The total number of VAT registered businesses in the East of England has increased from 179,500 at the start of 2002 to 196,480 at the start of 2007, an increase of 16,980 (9 per cent.).
However, VAT registrations do not capture all business activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold, which was £60,000 at the start of 2006. Only 1.9 million out of 4.5 million UK enterprises (43 per cent.) were registered for VAT at the start of 2006.
To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how many prosecutions there were for selling alcohol to children and young people under the age of 18 years
in (a) England and Wales and (b) each police force area in each year between 2004 and 2007. 
In addition to court proceedings, the offence of sale of alcohol to a person under 18 can attract a penalty notice for disorder (PND). The offence was added to the PND scheme on the 1 November 2004. Data on the number of PNDs issued in 2004 and 2005 for the offence are provided in the table.
|Number of defendants proceeded at magistrates courts and the number of penalty notices for disorder issued for offences related to the illegal sale of alcohol to persons aged under 18( 1,)( )( 2,)( )( 3,)( )( 4)|
|Defendants proceeded against at magistrates courts||Penalty notices for disorder issued|
|Police force area||2004||2005||2004||2005|
|(1) Prosecutions data are provided on the principal offence basis. PND data are a count on PND tickets issued.|
(2) Every effort is made to ensure that the figures presented are accurate and complete. However, it is important to note that these data have been extracted from large administrative data systems generated by the police forces and courts. As a consequence, care should be taken to ensure data collection processes and their inevitable limitations are taken into account when those data are used.
(3) Covers offences under the following statutes. The Licensing Act 1964 S.169 A and B as added by Licensing (Young Persons) Act 2000 S.1, the Licensing Act 1964 S.181 A(1) as added by Licensing Act 1988 S.17 and the Licensing Act 2003 S.146 and 147, which came into effect from 24 November 2005, so data prior to 2005 is not available.
(4) PND data covers the offence of sale of alcohol to person under 18 under the Licensing act 2003 S126
RDSCourt proceedings databaseOffice for Criminal Justice ReformMinistry of Justice
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