Business Rates Retention

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities and Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 4th December 2017.

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Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs) 12:00 am, 4th December 2017

What assessment he has made of the implications for local authorities outside London of full business rates revenue retention by London local authorities.

Photo of Jake Berry Jake Berry The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

Local authorities in London have estimated that the business rate retention pilot announced in the Budget will benefit them by £240 million. There will be no impact from the pilot on other local authority areas.

Photo of Helen Goodman Helen Goodman Shadow Minister (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs)

Will the Minister explain how it can possibly be the case that business rates in London raise £7.5 billion and retention only gives £240 million? Surely this is swiping money from the rest of the country, which needs it in order to even up resources?

Photo of Jake Berry Jake Berry The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

The £240 million is new money from business rates growth. Let me share with the hon. Lady the startling fact that 100% of the local authorities that will get the business rate localisation pilot applied for it. When she goes back up to her constituency, she might like to ask her own Labour-controlled council why it could not be bothered to do so.

Photo of Barry Sheerman Barry Sheerman Labour/Co-operative, Huddersfield

Will the hon. Gentleman pass on the message very forcefully to the Secretary of State that many of us applaud what he said in relation to Donald Trump’s retweeting of certain messages? My difficult question is: why does he not get on with the job of ensuring that the regions of our country get a fair share of resources, and stop piling money into London and the south-east?

Photo of Jake Berry Jake Berry The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

I noted that the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said that this was the worst Budget for London in 10 years. What I know is that, at £1.8 billion, it was the best Budget for the north of England ever.