Business Rents

Part of Petition – in the House of Commons at 10:53 pm on 10th November 1992.

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Photo of Tony Baldry Tony Baldry Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department of Environment) 10:53 pm, 10th November 1992

My hon. Friend makes his point tellingly. Of course, small and medium-sized businesses make a major contribution to the economy and life blood of Britain.

We remain of the view that we should retain the uniform business rate without major changes. Small businesses have benefited from the new system. A revaluation was long overdue and was therefore bound to result in large changes of rates burden for some people. However, as I said, those businesses which fared badly as a result of the 1990 revaluation might well see reductions next time.

I thank my hon. Friend the Member for Tiverton for expressing her anxieties fully and with care. They are clearly echoed by Conservative Members, if not by Members from other parties. It is precisely because we are aware of the difficulties that we recognise the importance of safeguarding the balance of rights and obligations of tenants and landlords contained in part II of the Landlord and Tenant Act 1954.