Small Business Minister Appointed.

The Conservative MP for Hertford and Stortford is likely to oversee significant reforms to business support.

As the business and enterprise minister he will also help implement Tory plans for a new national loan guarantee scheme, to be deployed if growing companies are denied the finance they need by banks.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph during the election campaign he said that a Tory government would simplify and lower business tax rates, but remained critical of any move to increase capital gains tax.

He said at the time that Liberal Democrat plans to raise £1.9bn a year by raising CGT to the same rate as income tax was wrong.

"Lots of entrepreneurs will see that as a kick in the teeth from Vince Cable," he said. "They have talked about helping small business but they want to make that change. The current Government [Labour] made a sensible step in 1998 when they made the capital gains tax system simpler. But then they reversed it, and in the way that they reversed it they made a bad decision worse."

Mr Prisk, who set up his own chartered surveying firm during the early-1990s recession, said he had heard the concerns of small business owners during the campaign.

"People want to know whether we understand business, whether we really know what it is really like to start and run a business. They see [Gordon] Brown and [Alistair] Darling talking about it and showing ignorance," he said.

"The current Government thinks the self- employed should do what they tell them to do. Those businesses want to know that we understand them."

He added: "What I am also hearing from small businesses is 'Get off our backs and let us get on with the job.' "