Lewes MP questions Ministers on Business Rate changes

Maria Caulfield MP has questioned Government Ministers on the delayed uptake of business rate relief.

Discretionary business rate relief funding was announced in the March 2017 Budget but 62 still haven’t set up discretionary rate relief schemes, impacting on local businesses within these areas.

Maria Caulfield asked “The move from RPI to CPI for business rates indexation will reduce rates bills for local shops. However, the Government needs to ensure that existing reliefs are getting through to local shops that need it, currently 62 councils still haven’t set up schemes to distribute discretionary rate relief despite this being announced and funded in the March 2017 budget.”

Local Government Minister Marcus Jones responded “Whilst the vast majority of local authorities have rebilled their businesses, it is unacceptable that some councils still haven’t. This is a £435 million package of support for businesses that councils have been given by Government so I urge all those councils that haven’t done the right thing to do so urgently.”

Following Local Government Questions Maria Caulfield said “Business Rate Relief is so important for local businesses, particularly smaller businesses who may struggle to pay.”

“The discretionary rate relief scheme was given funding in the March 2017 Budget so it is disappointing that so many councils haven’t yet taken up the funding yet and I hope that those still to do so will do it as soon as possible. I am pleased that both Lewes and Wealden District Councils have already taken part.”

The question can be watched here http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/99ec0f2d-4cc1-4847-8f46-b9eb2e9718de?in=15:23:58&out=15:24:43