Rates bill will mean more tax, warn small firms

Feb 09, 2009

 

Their representative body the Federation of Small Businesses has put forward a series of proposals aimed at softening the blow of the legislation.
 
In particular the FSB is arguing that small businesses must have a say on all projects to be subsidised by a tax brought in by the Business Rate Supplements Bill.
 
The new tax is being considered by a Public Bills Committee and the FSB is looking for guarantees that:
 
  • The supplement will only be spent on economic development;
  • Businesses will be consulted and have a vote on all supplements;
  • There will be a subsequent an independent review on how the money is spent;
  • The public sector will also contribute;
  • Properties liable for business rates with a rateable value of £50,000 or less will be exempt;
  • The £50,000 threshold will be reconsidered once the property market improves.
 
FSB Luton and South Beds chairman Carole Hegley (pictured) said: "Cashflow is king for small businesses who want to hold on to and train their staff and grow their enterprises during these recessionary times.
 
"With small business failures entering their hundreds each day and taking thousands of jobs with them, it seems counterproductive to introduce a new tax.”
 
Allan Banks, chairman of the North Bucks branch, added: “If business owners are to pay this supplement, it is important that they have a say on where it goes. This revenue must be ring-fenced for economic development rather than to shore up government infrastructure projects and local council budgets.
 
“There must be safeguards in this legislation to ensure the small business community is represented and can benefit from this supplement.”
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