Relief from local non-domestic rates: occupied hereditaments

Part of Telecommunications Infrastructure (Relief from Non-Domestic Rates) Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:03 pm on 5th September 2017.

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Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Local Government) 8:03 pm, 5th September 2017

The Government are committed to supporting full-fibre telecommunication infrastructure and the roll-out of 5G. This will deliver a step change in the speed, service quality and reliability of broadband and mobile services. Independent research suggests that increased broadband speed alone could add £17 billion to UK output by 2024, so this is a vital measure for the whole economy. The Bill will provide the powers we need to implement an important part of that strategy.

At the 2016 autumn statement, the Government announced 100% rate relief for new full-fibre infrastructure in England. The clauses in the Bill will allow us to deliver that relief with retrospective effect to 1 April 2017. We have already published draft regulations that illustrate how we will use these powers to implement the relief. The draft regulations have been prepared in consultation with telecoms experts in the Government, Ofcom and telecoms providers. Business rates and telecoms are technical fields so there is considerable scope for complexity where they meet. However, I am glad to say that through our work with the sector, we believe that we have found a clear approach to allow the valuation officer to identify, capture and quantify new fibre.