Results 1–20 of 14440 for speaker:John Healey

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: I beg to move, That the Bill be now read a Second time. We are living through a time of great economic upheaval and uncertainty, global in its origins but local in its impact on businesses and communities right across Britain. We in Government are committed to doing what we can to help people through these tough times and to prepare for the upturn that will follow. Actions such as...

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: I will not give that undertaking, but I will give a fuller outline and an explanation a little later, and they will set out the circumstances and the principal case in which businesses would and should get a vote. The hon. Gentleman may wish to consult the leader of his local county council for his view on the issue; he is an innovative council leader interested in the fact that this power...

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: As I have just explained, we are not imposing a tax on business but putting in place a power through which local authorities can, with safeguards for local business, decide to introduce such a levy. We reckon that a supplementary business rate in London, which is likely to be where this is first put to the test, would raise perhaps £170 million a year. The right hon. Gentleman will know that...

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: If the hon. Gentleman reads the Bill, he will see that we are proposing the power for all the upper-tier, top-level authorities. He knows as well as anyone that in London the democratic and electoral arrangements are different from those in the rest of the country: the upper-tier, elected authority is the Greater London authority. If there is a problem with businesses in Coulsdon, or if...

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: I shall first give way to the hon. Member for Croydon, Central (Mr. Pelling), a compatriot of the hon. Member for Croydon, South (Richard Ottaway); then I will give way to the hon. Member for Cities of London and Westminster (Mr. Field).

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: The hon. Gentleman will find that the limitations to liability set out in the Bill will help to safeguard areas that are relatively poor in terms of high rateable value businesses.

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: I now give way to the hon. Gentleman's former hon. Friend, who represents areas in which a more significant number of businesses will be above the threshold than in Croydon.

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: I think the hon. Gentleman and I will have to disagree. Where we have local government that is not unitary, as in London and in some county areas, it is right that this applies to the upper-level authority, not least because it is much more likely to be leading the long-term strategic planning that will be part of preparing some of the big investment and infrastructure projects that are...

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: I welcome the support of my right hon. Friend, as a ministerial predecessor and as a London MP, because he understands the challenges of trying to put in place such a power and the challenges that then face local authorities, in consultation with local businesses, in deciding whether it may be appropriate for their area. As I have tried to explain, London is the leading example of this...

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: In two ways. First, the picture that the hon. Gentleman paints does not represent the view of the many business organisations in London that accept the case for Crossrail, and which accept that a funding package needs to be put in place if we are credibly to pursue the ambition to build it. They accept the business rate supplement, which the GLA and the Mayor back, as part of that package....

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: No, and I will explain why later. I note that that is an element of the Opposition's reasoned amendment.

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: Whether or not there will be a vote on a business rate supplement, depending on the contribution required for any proposed project, there will be compulsory consultation, which will need to take into account the sort of things suggested by the hon. Gentleman.

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: I can give my hon. Friend the figures that he seeks. In 1997-98, business rates formed 25 per cent. of the money that was given to and spent by local government. Last year they formed 20 per cent. The reason is that we have been keen to restrict the annual increase in the small business non-domestic rate to the rate of inflation. At a time when significantly above-inflation Government grants...

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: The hon. Gentleman will know that that is a three-year scheme, and was only ever introduced as such. This is the final year, and so far we have paid out £833 million to local authorities as a reward for the business growth in their areas. That is entirely additional to the core Government grant, and entirely without strings attached to how local authorities spend it. Having trialled it by...

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: I shall give way to the hon. Gentleman, and then— [Interruption.] Then perhaps I shall run through several of the powers and freedoms that we have devolved and placed in the hands of local government in recent years. There is obviously an appetite among Tory Front Benchers to hear about that.

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: I perceive it as an advantage that the Bill does not introduce a local income tax, and as a strength—not a weakness—that it is not confined to powers for London. It continues the series of greater powers and freedoms that we have given to local authorities in recent years, when we have introduced a general power of competence. It allows local authorities to do anything they choose, except...

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: I recognise the success of business improvement districts—67 are up and running. They are in diverse areas, such as Liverpool, Leicester, Worthing, Croydon—

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: Indeed. The 67 areas are diverse and led by different political parties, but work with their local businesses, normally in a very localised area, often to improve safety and environmental quality, and partly to boost business prospects. In many ways, the House and the hon. Gentleman might perceive the business rate supplement as building on that success—applying the approach of the business...

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: I did not anticipate giving way at that point, but I will because I shall move on to something else afterwards.

Business Rate Supplements Bill (12 Jan 2009)

John Healey: As I said, businesses will be consulted in all cases, and there will be a legal requirement on councils to do that. I shall deal shortly with what I regard as the principled case in the Bill that, if the business rate supplement is to support a specific proportion of the funding for a proposed project, there should be a vote, and that in other circumstances there should not.


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