Valuation Office Agency

HM Treasury written question – answered on 21st October 2015.

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Photo of Mark Garnier Mark Garnier Conservative, Wyre Forest

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the (a) efficiency of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and (b) potential merits of providing emergency payments to councils who face budgeting difficulties due to the time taken by the VOA to re-assess business rates.

Photo of David Gauke David Gauke The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

  1. By July 2015 the Valuation Office Agency had cleared over 94% of outstanding business rates appeals as of 30 September 2013 in England. The Agency continues to focus on clearing outstanding appeals. In order to further improve the efficiency of the Agency, the Government will introduce a more structured, rigorous and transparent appeals system as part of this session’s Enterprise Bill.

  2. The business rates retention scheme in England is providing real incentives for councils to support enterprise and economic growth. In 2015-16, 362 authorities expect to retain an extra £544 million in business rates above baseline funding. Under the scheme, local authorities or pools of local authorities are protected against significant declines in business rates income through a safety net that guarantees income at 92.5% of baseline funding. And in a radical reshaping of the state we will ensure that by the end of the Parliament the local government sector will retain 100% of local taxes to spend on local government services.

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