Business, Innovation and Skills Questions: 30th June 2015

Melanie Onn (Great Grimsby) (Lab)
T9. Workers at the Young’s Seafood factory in Grimsby are worried for their futures after Sainsbury’s ended a contract with it. Grimsby already has the 17th highest unemployment rate in the country, and in the past few years it has seen several established companies leave the area, leaving behind nothing to replace them. Given that the Young’s site provides 500 skilled jobs, what support can the Government offer to avoid further losses of skilled jobs? [900628]

The Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise (Anna Soubry)
Officials from my Department have already met people at Young’s in her constituency, following the question from my hon. Friend the Member for Cleethorpes (Martin Vickers). Those meetings are continuing. I assure the hon. Lady, however, that if it is bad news, all the good support she would imagine coming from the Department for Work and Pensions to make sure people can find new work will be put in place. None the less, I am more than happy to meet her and my hon. Friend to discuss the matter.

Michael Tomlinson (Mid Dorset and North Poole) (Con)
T8. I welcome the Government’s work to encourage businesses to take more people on by reducing the burden of employment law, helping more people in my constituency to get into work. What reassurance can the Secretary of State give me that he will further reduce the burden of regulation, thus helping businesses in Mid Dorset and North Poole and across the country? [900627]

Anna Soubry
I welcome my hon. Friend to his place. As he has heard, it is an absolute priority for the Government to continue the great work we achieved over the last five years, with £10 billion-worth of saving by deregulation and a promise of £10 billion more to come in the next five years. I look forward to working with my hon. Friend and others—via Twitter or whatever—so we can find out where the regulations are that do not need to be there, get rid of them and make sure that we keep Britain working.

Amanda Milling (Cannock Chase) (Con)
T10. Small businesses are a substantial part of the local economy of my constituency. I was pleased to welcome the news that, since launch, 22 people have already taken up start-up loans worth nearly £140,000 to start new businesses in Cannock Chase. However, relatively speaking, this is low. What steps are the Government taking to encourage more people to take advantage of this scheme in areas such as my constituency? [900629]

Anna Soubry
I welcome my hon. Friend to her place. We know that start-up loans have led to considerable success. One thing I am keen to do is to ensure that we keep all small businesses, especially entrepreneurs and people looking to start up their business, well informed and absolutely aware of the various schemes available to them. I know the British Business Bank, through its website and other media, can provide that information, and I want to make sure that it is working, so that in the real world, people have access to funds, to schemes and the advice they often need when starting up their business.

Stephen Hammond (Wimbledon) (Con)
The Secretary of State will know that from this September, companies will have two years in which to introduce the new general data protection regulations, estimated to cost £2 billion. Will he ensure that his Department does all it can to minimise costs and to make industry aware, so that they can comply within the timescale?

Anna Soubry
I thank my hon. Friend for his question; he makes an important point. I know my diary is going to get busy, but I would very much welcome a meeting to discuss this with him because—[Interruption.] I do not know why Labour Members seem to be complaining about Ministers meeting Back Benchers—I would be happy to meet even the right hon. Member for Birmingham, Hodge Hill (Liam Byrne). I look forward to working with my hon. Friend on this important matter, of which we are aware. We must make sure that we do this properly.