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1996 - PMQT Written Answers 25th March 1996

Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister's Question Time from 25th March 1996.


PRIME MINISTER:

Taiwan

Sir Nicholas Scott: To ask the Prime Minister if he will make it his policy to support the application by Taiwan to join the United Nations organisation and to seek support from Commonwealth and EU partners for it.

The Prime Minister: No. Membership of the United Nations is open only to states. Her Majesty's Government do not recognise Taiwan as a state.


Rathbone Community Furniture

Mr. Parry: To ask the Prime Minister what reply he gave to Rathbone Community Furniture, Liverpool, in response to its recent letter to him; and if he will make a statement.

The Prime Minister: My office has forwarded the letter to the Department for Education and Employment which will respond in due course.


Enterprise Zones

Mr. Wigley: To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his oral answer of 19 March 1996, Official Report, columns 167-68, to the hon. Member for Easington (Mr. Cummings) if he will list the advantages which will be given to the area by virtue of the creation of an enterprise zone; and how long it has taken from the first proposal for such a zone to the date of coming into effect of such a status.

The Prime Minister [holding answer 22 March 1996]: The benefits available to businesses during the 10-year life of an enterprise zone are the following: 100 per cent. allowances for corporation tax purposes for capital expenditure on industrial and commercial buildings: exemption from the national non-domestic rate on industrial and commercial property; a simplified planning regime; speedier administration of residual statutory planning controls; exemption from industrial training levies and from the requirements to supply information to industrial training boards; processing applications for certain customs facilities as a priority, and the relaxation of certain criteria; and the reduction of government requests for statistical information. Enterprise zones can effect economic activity over a wide area through displacement effects and are not the appropriate regeneration measure in most circumstances.

The Government announced that they would consider the case for new enterprise zones at Easington in County Durham on 29 March 1993; zones in that area were designated on 29 November 1995.