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Clause 8 — Small companies' rates and fractions for financial year 2009

Part of Surface Water and Highway Drainage Charges (Exemption) Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:15 pm on 12th May 2009.

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Photo of Stephen Timms Stephen Timms Financial Secretary (HM Treasury) (also in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills) 7:15 pm, 12th May 2009

No, I do not agree with that. The entrepreneurs whom I know and admire earn a long way short of £150,000 a year. Moreover, the owners of businesses occupying premises with quite low rateable values will not, on the whole, have earnings of over £150,000 a year. For those reasons, I do not agree with the hon. Gentleman.

I hope that I have demonstrated to the House's satisfaction that the amendments would not help the majority of small businesses. They do not recognise the importance of fairness, which is a very important consideration in tax matters. In addition, the debate did not properly reflect the impact of the substantial measures that the Government have put in place to support small businesses. I hope that the House will decline to agree the amendments.

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