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MP slams business rates decision
9:30am Monday 29th October 2012 in News
STRETFORD and Urmston MP Kate Green has attacked a Government announcement that business rate bills will continue to be based on 2008 property values until 2017.
The Communities and Local Government (DCLG) Secretary, Eric Pickles, has cancelled next year’s planned business rates review.
Ms Green said: “I’m very concerned by this announcement. Latest figures show that more than 30 chain stores a day are closing across the country, and I know from my surgeries how many local businesses are struggling with excessively high business rates.
"Yet the Tory Government has decided to drive businesses even further into decline by postponing a long overdue revaluation of business rates.
"This is nothing but a cynical move by Eric Pickles - waiting for a hoped-for future upturn in property values in order to maximise Government revenue, rather than passing on lower rates reflecting a fall in the property market as it stands now.”
Old Trafford-based company CVS Ltd, a leading business rates specialist which represents more than 30,000 businesses across the UK seeking to challenge business rates valuations, has also condemned the decision.
Mark Rigby, chief executive of CVS, said: “What businesses need is a system for business rates which is fair, efficient and transparent – we don’t currently have that. The announcement from DCLG to continue charging businesses at 2008 rents through until 2017, not 2015, compounds the problem because it means prolonging the pain and not fixing the problem."
The Government defended the move as being good for business.
Announcing the decision, minister Brandon Lewis said: "Business rates are the third biggest outgoing for local firms after rent and staff costs. This decision will avoid local firms and local shops facing unexpected hikes in their business rate bills over the next five years. As business rates are linked to inflation, there will be no real terms increase in rates over this period. This reform will provide certainty for business to plan and invest, supporting local economic growth."