In a question to the Leader of the House of Commons, Ellesmere Port & Neston MP, Justin Madders raised concerns about Chancellor’s decision to end Retail Rate Relief and called for an urgent debate to take place. This relief was available to properties mainly used as shops, restaurants or drinking establishments with a rate-able value of £50,000 or less and provided support of up to £1,500 per property.
Following Chancellor’s decision, this support will no longer be available, meaning that many local businesses will be charged a higher level of Business Rates in the 2016/17 financial year.
Figures obtained by Justin from the Council confirm that in 2015/16, 1,476 properties benefited from the relief in Cheshire West and Chester, with the total value to the local economy being £1,831,000. In Ellesmere Port, 182 properties are effected, collectively losing out on £225,000 of Government support.
Challenging the Leader of the House of Commons, Chris Grayling MP on 10th March, Justin said:
“As my hon. Friends the Members for Dewsbury (Paula Sherriff) and for Heywood and Middleton (Liz McInnes) have mentioned, the Chancellor’s decision on retail rate relief is causing great consternation, with small businesses now having to find an extra £1,500 a year. In the Cheshire West and Chester area alone, some 1,472 businesses will have to find an extra £1.8 million next year. Given the Chancellor’s warnings of impending storm clouds, can the Leader of the House assure us that there will be sufficient time over the next few weeks to debate whether this is really the right time to start clobbering small businesses with more taxes?”
Speaking afterwards, Justin said:
“This is a disastrous decision, which could lead to even more shops and pubs closing their doors and people losing their jobs. This is the last this we need when unemployment is rising across many parts of this region, including in Ellesmere Port & Neston.
The Tories have slashed support to Local Government in recent years, which has hit high streets at precisely the time when they need support. I recently opened a new office on Whitby Road and I’ll keep doing all I can to support improvements to the high-street, but we can’t tackle the underlying issues without a government which is on our side.”
To watch Justin's question, click here.