Self-employed People: 15th September 2015

David Rutley (Macclesfield) (Con)
8. What steps he is taking to support self-employed people. [901330]

The Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise (Anna Soubry)
The new enterprise allowance and start-up loans schemes are making it easier for people to move into self-employment. We have appointed Julie Deane, founder of The Cambridge Satchel Company, to carry out an independent review and recommend what more we can do to support those who are self-employed.

David Rutley
The growth in self-employment is an important and positive trend, and I welcome the announcement of Julie Deane’s independent review. Will my right hon. Friend confirm to the House that it will include a full review of how the Government and their agencies communicate with the self-employed, so that they are fully aware of all the available support? Does she agree that that would help them to achieve their aspirations and to play an even greater role in taking forward the Government’s long-term economic plan?

Anna Soubry
As somebody who was self-employed for more years than I care to remember—about 20 years —I am fully aware of not only the benefits but the disadvantages. My hon. Friend makes a really good point about the importance of communication, so that people who are self-employed know what assistance is available. Julie will be looking at that particular aspect, and we welcome and look forward to her report and her recommendations.

Caroline Flint (Don Valley) (Lab)
By how many hundreds if not thousands of pounds will self-employed people lose out from the removal of working tax credits, which we will be discussing today, from working people, including the self-employed?

Anna Soubry
The straight answer is that I do not have a figure, but I will find out and I will write—[Interruption.] No, don’t be silly. I will write to the right hon. Lady with that figure. Let me make it absolutely clear: the rebalancing of our economy, paying off our debts, reducing the deficit and making sure that work pays are at the heart of what the Government stand for. That is what we were elected on, with a very clear manifesto and the support of the British people. We are doing the right thing by hard-working families.