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MP calls on Chancellor to freeze fuel duty and look at business rates

November 21, 2013 2:16 PM

Tim in WestminsterSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron is calling on the Chancellor to agree to freeze fuel duty until 2015 and to look at business rates in advance of the Autumn Statement.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has announced that he will give his annual Autumn Statement to Parliament on 5 December 2013. The statement provides an update on the government's plans for the economy based on the latest forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility. These forecasts will be published alongside the Autumn Statement on 5 December.

Tim has asked George Osborne to agree to freeze fuel duty until 2015. His second request is that the Chancellor do more to help our High Streets by looking at business rates. Last year, Chancellor George Osborne announced his plan to postpone the review of business rates until 2017. This would leave retailers paying rates which have seen a 13% increase in just 3 years. A revaluation in the next couple of years could mean those with decreasing rents will also see a significant saving; as business rates are brought in line.

In September, Tim also called on the Government to give small businesses the same business rate relief that charity shops enjoy. Charity shops receive 80 per cent mandatory non-domestic business rates relief, funded by central government.

Tim said: "If we can freeze fuel duty it will make a big difference to local people and businesses. In rural areas like ours a car is not a luxury; it is a necessity of life. The government has made listened to MPs like myself in the past and have agreed to freeze fuel duty - I hope they do it again.

"I am also calling for the government to help small businesses and to help our High Streets by looking at businesses rates. We need to do more to support them, in my discussions with businesses, the rates they pay comes up as the number one issue. If we can help them we can create more jobs locally and boost our towns."