Telecommunications Infrastructure (Relief from Non-Domestic Rates) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:54 pm on 10th July 2017.

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Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Conservative, Aldridge-Brownhills 7:54 pm, 10th July 2017

I am grateful to my hon. Friend Luke Graham for making that valuable point. I am sure that I will be corrected if I am wrong, but although this Bill relates to England and Wales only, Barnett formula consequentials will apply, so my new hon. Friend from Scotland made a valid point.

The Bill is about looking to the future. It is about developing infrastructure, so that we can take our country forwards. As we seek to develop new relationships and partnerships in a post-Brexit world, the Bill will make connectivity around the world so much easier and better.

Turning briefly to business rates, the Bill will enable 100% business rates relief for new full-fibre infrastructure for a period of five years. I hope that that will provide an incentive and encourage the telecommunications industry to get on with the job of delivering what we in this House want to see. Together with the universal service obligation, I hope that rates relief will make a significant difference to our constituents. I hope that we will make a big contribution towards closing the digital divide that we have heard so much about and that we will get higher-quality, more reliable connectivity in households and businesses. That is what I want in my constituency and what other Members want for theirs. In closing, I am supporting a Government that are investing in our country, in our infrastructure and in the livelihoods and futures of not just today’s generation but tomorrow’s as well, so I will support the Bill this evening.