Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.


18 JUN 2018

Business Rates

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about Business Rates.

Personally, I do think we need a root and branch review of the business rates system so it can better reflect modern trading practices and I hope the following information on this topic from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government is reassuring:

Small businesses are the backbone of local economies and the Government has responded to the number one ask of businesses in the recent Budget by announcing a new package to reduce business rates.
As announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Budget 2017, the Government has brought forward a planned switch from RPI to CPI by two years, to April 2018, worth £2.3 billion in reduced business rates over five years. Ministers have also listened to the concerns expressed about the five yearly revaluation system and after the next revaluation in 2021, future revaluations will take place every three years.
The business rates system can be a substantial cost, particularly for some smaller companies and those most affected by the recent revaluation have been supported. In 2016 the Government set out cuts in business rates benefitting all ratepayers which will be worth almost £9 billion by the end of this Parliament. An additional £435 million was made also available last year to support businesses most affected by the recent revaluation.
On a final note, the Government remains committed to allowing local authorities to keep more of the money they raise locally, with an aim of ensuring that local authorities retain 75 per cent of business rates from 2020-21. To test aspects of this system, ten new areas have been selected for business rate retention pilots in the 2018-19 financial year.

You can also view the Minister's response to the recent debate on this issue here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/search/MemberContributions?house=Commons&memberId=3935

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