News Story

Peter Luff’s long campaign before the election to make rate relief automatic for small businesses has succeeded with an announcement from the government that they are adopting the policy.

Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has now confirmed that the forthcoming Localism Bill will include provisions to allow councils to apply the relief automatically.

Peter, who worked closely with the Federation of Small Businesses in his campaign, which culminated in him introducing a Private Member’s Bill on the subject in the last Parliament, said

“This is a huge victory for small businesses and local shops who will find it easier to get the tax cuts to which they are entitled. Only around half of small businesses know about rate relief and apply for it. Every year millions of pounds calculated and ear-marked by the Treasury for eligible businesses go unclaimed.

“I couldn’t persuade the last government, but I am delighted that the new one has moved so swiftly to implement this commonsense policy.”

Under the new measures to be published in the Localism Bill councils will be free to administer Small Business Rate Relief in a way that best serves local businesses and local needs. The Government is already helping an estimated 500,000 ratepayers who are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief by doubling the normal discount for next year, worth £390 million. Approximately 345,000 of the smallest of those businesses could pay no rates at all.

Peter said he was,

“… also encouraged to learn that the Government has set out radical new proposals to look at ways for Local Authorities to keep the business rates they collect locally.”

He commented,

“The responsibility will soon be in the hands of local councils. They will no longer have to make small businesses go through an application process when it is obvious that they are eligible. I urge the local council to ensure that all small business receive the relief that they are entitled to.”


Back to News