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8 Apr 2010 : Column 1480W—continued

Music: Licensing Laws

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 10 March 2010, Official Report, column 280, on music licensing levies, what the statutory basis is which requires the arrangements for music licensing levies to apply to church halls. [323541]

Mr. Lammy: I have been asked to reply.

In the UK, the statutory basis for the licensing of music, sound recordings and performances, including in church halls, is set out in the Copyright Designs and Patents Act (CDPA) 1988 (as amended).

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 10 March 2010, Official Report, column 280, on music licensing levies, what the timetable is for discussions with the voluntary sector and the subsequent laying and ratification of secondary legislation. [323543]

Mr. Lammy: I have been asked to reply.

Discussions between PPL and the third sector to find the best possible music licensing system are ongoing, initiated by my ministerial colleagues at the Office for the Third Sector. A number of issues remain to be resolved, and in the circumstances it has not been possible to introduce the planned legislative changes before the dissolution of Parliament prior to the forthcoming general election.

Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer to the right hon. Member for Horsham of 10 March 2010, Official Report, column 280, on music licensing levies, if she will publish the evidential basis for changes to the original estimate of £20 million cost to the voluntary sector. [323544]

Mr. Lammy: I have been asked to reply.

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The impact assessment estimated the average annual cost to the third sector of the repeal of the current exemptions contained in s. 67 and 72(1B)(a) of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be £18.7 million per year for the purchasing of Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) licences. This has not been changed. Full details of the impact assessment were published and are available here:

The impact assessment figure of £18.7 million was based on a flat fee of £81 per annum for each music user. PPL have now indicated that they charge most commercial organisations like hairdressers, pubs and offices between £50 and £120 per year and it is likely that most third sector organisations would be charged at the lower end of this range. This would reduce the original estimate of £18.7 million. But the actual cost of repeal would be dependent on the tariffs agreed through negotiation between PPL and the third sector organisations.

National Identity Register

Grant Shapps: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office whether the proposed citizen's unique identifier will be linked to the National Identity Register. [324815]

Tessa Jowell: The Prime Minister gave a speech on 22 March 2010 on Building Britain's Digital Future, in which he outlined the need to make it easy and convenient for the citizen to prove identity when using online services. The Digital Delivery Programme is working with others across Government, including the National Identity Service, on how this can be achieved.

The purpose of the National Identity Service is to ensure that citizens can prove their identity in a secure and convenient way when they need to in a range of different situations. It can play an important part in achieving better access to services online. However, no final decisions on how a unique citizen identifier might be reflected on the National Identity Register have yet been taken.

Official Residences

Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office pursuant to the answer to the hon. Member for Brentwood and Ongar of 13 January 2010, Official Report, column 1002W, on official residences: repairs and maintenance, and with reference to the Cabinet Office's Annual Report and Accounts 2008-09, what the monetary value was of the fixed asset expenditure in relation to Crown Proposal 08/00696/1884; and which suppliers were commissioned to undertake the work. [318311]

Angela E. Smith: I have nothing further to add to the answer given on 13 January 2010, Official Report, column 1003W.

Social Investment Wholesale Bank

Mark Lazarowicz: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what timetable has been set for the launch of the Social Investment Wholesale Bank announced in Budget 2010. [325809]

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Angela E. Smith: It has not proved possible to respond to the hon. Member in the time available before Prorogation.


Mr. Maude: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what research has been undertaken into the levels of public confidence in Government statistics in the last 10 years. [318124]

Angela E. Smith: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the Authority to reply.

Letter from Sir Michael Scholar KCB, dated April 2010:

Business, Innovation and Skills

Business: Credit

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps his Department has taken to increase the level of access to credit for small businesses in (a) Coventry and (b) the West Midlands in the last two years. [325767]

Ms Rosie Winterton: The Government have introduced a range of measures to help businesses through the global recession and to promote growth during the recovery. These include:

The Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG)

This encourages additional bank lending to creditworthy SMEs with viable business cases who do not have sufficient security available to support their borrowing request on a normal commercial basis. Over £1.28 billion of eligible EFG applications from over 11,400 firms have been granted, are being processed or assessed, and over 8,940 businesses have been offered loans totalling nearly £910 million.

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Set out in the following table is the information for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee for Coventry and the west midlands.

Number of loans offered Number of loans drawn Value of loans offered (£ million) Value of loans drawn






West midlands





The Capital for Enterprise Fund

The fund supports viable businesses with equity or mezzanine investment aimed at releasing and sustaining growth, investing between £200,000 and £2 million where the business has exhausted its borrowing capacity with lenders.

To date the appointed fund managers have made offers totalling £98.7 million to 66 businesses, including three in the west midlands worth £4.8 million. 26 businesses have received investment, including one in the west midlands with a value of £2 million. I am not providing this breakdown by parliamentary constituency as this could make it possible to identify the individual companies that have received, or are under consideration for, support.

The fund is now closed to new applications, although businesses are still receiving investments from existing applications.

HM Revenue and Customs' Business Support Service

This reviews payment of businesses tax liabilities and tries to come to an arrangement that allows companies to spread payments to help them over temporary difficulties. So far, there have been agreements made with over 200,000 businesses to spread more than £2.5 billion in business taxes. Changes to tax rules allow loss-making businesses to temporarily extend trading loss carry-back from one to three years for losses up to £50,000. In the west midlands, 27,800 arrangements have been made to defer payments of £480 million.

Business Link Health Checks

These provide a free review of businesses with a professional business adviser for hands-on advice and help accessing the full range of Government help. To the end of February 2009, over 128,000 businesses benefitted from a health check, including 15,487 businesses in the west midlands.

Prompt Payment

In the financial year 2009-10, central Government expects to pay an additional £40 billion to suppliers within 10 days (a target set in October 2008) compared to 2008-09, and 19 out of 20 central Government invoices are now paid in 10 days.

The Working Capital Scheme (WCS)

WCS has provided guarantees to two banks on portfolios of short-term loans with good credit risk in order to release regulatory capital to enable those banks to increase lending to businesses. The two banks with WCS guarantees, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland, have made lending commitments of £39 billion.

Public Borrowing Review 2009 announced that as the broader Asset Protection Scheme now provides banks with considerably greater capital release, so new portfolios will not be guaranteed under the WCS although existing
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portfolio guarantees will remain until March 2011. Companies' access to the WCS was through the banks; they did not apply for it directly.

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent discussions he has had with representatives of small and medium-sized enterprises located in Coventry on their access to credit. [325768]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Access to credit is a key issue as UK economy moves to recovery. Ministers are in regular contact with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and access to credit continues to be a major topic for discussion. In particular, the Minster for Trade, Investment and Small Business visited Coventry, Birmingham and Worcester in 2009, where he participated in Q and A sessions with businesses of all sizes on a variety of topics. He also attended the 2010 annual FSB conference where access to credit featured in the discussion with the audience.

The Minister for the West Midlands has regularly discussed the issue in his meetings with local business organisations and local business people and it was featured in his speech to the West Midlands Economic Forum which took place in February in Coventry.

Access to finance for SMEs was recognised in Budget 2010 where the Government, building on their support to business through the downturn such as the Enterprise Finance Guarantee scheme, announced measures such as the launch of the UK Finance for Growth, a body responsible for overseeing the Government stock of over £4 billion of SM finance products, including the Growth Capital Fund (announced in PBR 2009), for which £200 million of cornerstone investment has been raised so far from private sector and Government.

In addition, the UK is continuing to work with the EU's financial institutions (the European Investment Bank and the European Investment Fund) to stimulate more venture capital and loan support for SMEs. Furthermore, the Budget announced the Small Business Credit Adjudicator (SBCA). Once established the SBCA will hear cases, referred by Business Link's Financial Intermediary Service (FIS), where a business may have been unfairly denied credit.

To advise on the role and responsibilities of the SBCA the Government have launched a new task force. Enterprise Champion Lord Sugar, outgoing Federation of Small Businesses chairman John Wright and former Lloyd's TSB deputy chief executive Mike Fairey will comprise the task force. They will build on the work Lord Sugar has been doing with small businesses, FIS and the banks.

Business: Denton and Reddish

Andrew Gwynne: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many businesses in Denton and Reddish constituency have received support from his Department since 2008. [325853]

Ms Rosie Winterton: Since April 2008, 1,847 businesses in Denton and Reddish have received business advice through Business Link North West. Five businesses have received grants or loans totalling £336,669.

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Business: Government Assistance

Willie Rennie: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent assessment he has made of the effectiveness of the small firms loan guarantee scheme. [325138]

Ms Rosie Winterton [holding answer 30 March 2010]: In January 2010, the Department published the Economic Evaluation of the Small Firms Loan Guarantee undertaken by the Institute of Employment Studies.

This study rigorously tested the effectiveness and value for money of SFLG and concludes that the basic rationale for SFLG is supported and that it appears to be a cost-effective way of supporting additional economic activity in the small business sector.

More specifically, the majority (81 per cent.) of SFLG recipients receive SFLG on their first loan application. For a majority (76 per cent.) of SFLG recipients, there were no alternative sources of finance available to them.

This is confirmed by 79 per cent. of SFLG recipients reporting the bank would probably, or definitely not, have given them a loan without SFLG. Just under half (49 per cent.) of businesses would definitely, or probably not, have proceeded with their project without SFLG.

A growth in sales, jobs and exports is attributable to SFLG supported lending within the first two years of the loan. The 3,100 SFLG supported businesses in 2006 have created between 3,550 to 6,340 additional jobs in the two years following receipt of the loan, created between £75 million and £150 million additional sales over two years; and were responsible for £33 million exports per annum.

Just within two years of receiving the loan the benefits of the scheme are outweighing the costs.

SFLG appears to be a particularly cost effective way of creating additional employment.

The full report is available via the BIS website:

The Small Firms Loan Guarantee was replaced by the Enterprise Finance Guarantee in January 2009.

Willie Rennie: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what discussions his Department has had with Royal Bank of Scotland on its administration of the small firms loan guarantee scheme. [325139]

Ian Lucas [holding answer 30 March 2010]: The Small Firms Loan Guarantee (SFLG) was replaced by the Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) in January 2009.

Ministers have regular discussions with representatives of each of the main UK lenders regarding a range of SME finance issues including via the Small Business Finance Forum.

Capital for Enterprise Ltd. (CfEL), which is responsible for operational delivery of SFLG and EFG on behalf of the Department, maintains a regular dialogue with each of the accredited lenders specifically regarding their administration of these schemes.

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