What drove me into politics was a determination to see people treated fairly in the workplace irrespective of their gender, heritage, background or disabilities.
A job is perhaps the best stake in society that one can have. A diverse mix of people in the workplace does more to break down social stigma, disharmony and unfair discrimination as employers and employees recognise that, fundamentally, everyone shares the same hopes and aspirations.
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he has taken to encourage more foreign direct investment in UK companies.
Andrea Leadsom (Economic Secretary to the Treasury): In 2013-14 the UK attracted 1,773 foreign direct investment projects, giving a total stock of £1.6 trillion of such investments – more than any other country apart from the USA. During this Parliament the Government has taken action to make the UK a more attractive location to run a business including reducing corporation tax so that it will reach 20% next year – the lowest in the G20 – and investing in skills, science and infrastructure. The Government has also increased resources at UK Trade and Investment including for example establishing private sector-led teams in the Gulf, Central Europe, and South America dedicated to attracting inward investment into the UK.
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, what steps the Government has taken to support disabled people in Windsor constituency who want to start their own business.
Matthew Hancock (Minister of State for Business and Enterprise): We are continuing to work hard to provide the right support to make life easier for everyone who wants to start their own business, including disabled people.
www.greatbusiness.gov.uk provides support and advice for anyone trying to grow a business as well as for entrepreneurs starting out. This includes a ‘Business Finance and Support Finder’ that can provide a customised source of government backed support and finance for business. In addition to on-line support, the Business Support Helpline (0300 456 3565) is available to provide a quick response on queries about starting a business, or a personalised and in-depth advice service for more complex needs. For those looking for start-up finance and advice there are Start-Up Loans: 10 loans worth a total of £47,500 have been drawn down in Windsor to date.
Finally, the New Enterprise Allowance helps people claiming certain out of work benefits to start up their own business. As of June 2014, 10,040 disabled people (from a total of 53,350) had started a new business with the help of the NEA.
Adam Afriyie (Conservative, Windsor): To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what recent steps he has taken to simplify the rates of Employees’ National Insurance contributions.
Mr David Gauke (Financial Secretary to the Treasury): This Government is committed to a competitive tax regime and has introduced a range of measures to reduce the burden of National Insurance Contributions (NICs), as part of our long term economic plan to back business and create jobs.
The Employment Allowance, introduced in April this year, means that around 450,000 employers– one third of all employers – are expected to be taken out of paying employer NICs altogether in 2014-15 and from April 2015, employer NICs for under 21 year olds will be abolished, helping to support jobs for almost 1.5 million young people currently in employment.
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent steps he has taken to encourage the growth of a space tourism industry in the UK.
Greg Clark (Minister of State, BIS): The Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend Mr Goodwill announced at the Farnborough International Air show in July 2014 the Government’s commitment to establish a spaceport in the UK by 2018. The Government is working to ensure that sub-orbital space participant and science flights are operated from this space port.