Exemption for buildings used as nursery grounds

Part of Non-Domestic Rating (Nursery Grounds) Bill – in the House of Commons at 1:15 pm on 10th July 2018.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Vice-Chair, Conservative Party 1:15 pm, 10th July 2018

My hon. Friend is right. There is huge potential for such industries to grow—pardon the pun—but investment in technology is needed for them to do that. If the Government or, in this case, the Court of Appeal decide to levy an additional cost on such businesses, bearing in mind many of them are small and medium-sized businesses, the chances of their being able to continue investment will be diminished. The Bill will therefore help us to facilitate businesses in taking advantage of new technological advances. By being more likely to invest than they otherwise would have been, they will be able to further themselves, and hopefully not only will their prospects improve but they will add to UK GDP and add jobs in their local area.

I am grateful to my hon. Friend the Minister, who is now taking the Bill forward. The Bill is a positive step to put right a Court of Appeal decision that most rational people consider to be wrong. I am extremely glad that the Bill is being applied retrospectively. As colleagues have said today, not only will it enable growers to continue growing produce to sell on to other growers, who can then provide the produce we all buy in the shops and subsequently eat, but it will enable growers to invest for the future. The Bill will make sure this country continues to be a leading player in advancing how we grow our food and sustain our population.