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Small Business Rate Relief

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 10:30 am on 21st October 2010.

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Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster Conservative, Milton Keynes North 10:30 am, 21st October 2010

What progress he has made on his proposals for the future of small business rate relief; and if he will make a statement.

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Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

The coalition agreement contained a commitment to find a practical way to make small business rate relief automatic. We have had discussions with interested parties, and we are now assessing the options.

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Photo of Mark Lancaster Mark Lancaster Conservative, Milton Keynes North

Milton Keynes is a dynamic and entrepreneurial city, and the Government's moves on small business rate relief are most welcome, but will the Minister tell the House what more the Government could do to encourage local councils to be more flexible in offering different incentives to new businesses?

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Photo of Bob Neill Bob Neill The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

We are considering the possibility of giving local authorities wide-ranging discretionary powers to grant business rate discounts, so that they can respond to local circumstances by reducing local businesses' bills. We are also taking legislation to ensure that no new supplementary business rate can be imposed without the backing of local firms in a referendum.

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