Local Government Finance Bill

– in a Public Bill Committee at 12:00 am on 21st February 2017.

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[Mike Gapes in the Chair]

Photo of Marcus Jones Marcus Jones Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government) (Local Government) 9:25 am, 21st February 2017

On a point of order, Mr Gapes. I would like to highlight to the Committee that on Wednesday last week, my Department published its response to the summer consultation on business rates retention. Alongside that we published a further consultation on the Government’s proposed approach, which provides additional information on the design of the new, reformed business rates retention system.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Party Chair, Co-operative Party, Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)

Further to that point of order, Further to that point of order, Mr Gapes. We are delighted that you and your fellow Chair have clearly had some influence on the Minister and finally managed to get those documents released. It would have been helpful, though, if the full 450 consultation responses had been published alongside the summary that the Minister released and if he had given a bit more of a clue about how the system will look by 2019. I have a further point of order.

Let us deal with one at a time, please.

Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Party Chair, Co-operative Party, Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)

On a point of order, Mr Gapes. You may have followed media reports of a letter from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to some Members of Parliament about business rates. I have not yet received my copy, and I do not think other Opposition Members have either. I wonder whether you and Sir David might use your influence with the Minister to persuade him to release a copy of the full letter. Obviously we have seen transcripts in the media, but it would be good to have sight of the full letter.

I do not think that is a matter for me. It relates to other issues that are not necessarily within the scope of the Bill. The hon. Gentleman is experienced enough to know that there are many channels through which he can make his concerns heard. He has done it here, but I suggest he now goes elsewhere.

Clause 37