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Thousands of South Lakeland businesses are benefiting from tax changes - MP

October 30, 2014 2:34 PM

Tim speaking in ParliamentSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has unearthed figures which show that thousands of businesses in our area are benefiting from lower business rates and small business relief to the tune of over £5 million.

Tim asked the following question to ministers in Parliament: 'To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, how many shops in Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency have benefited from the reduction in business rates.'

In reply the Housing Minister Kris Hopkins MP told Tim: We have introduced a £1 billion business rate support package for 2014-15 including:

  • a 2% cap in the Retail Price Index increase in the small business rates multiplier;
  • a retail discount of £1,000 for around 300,000 shops, pubs and restaurants with rateable values below £50,000;
  • a 12 month extension of small business rate relief doubling, benefitting over half a million businesses;
  • a 50 per cent discount for new occupants of long-term vacant shops, and;
  • allowing ratepayers to pay bills over 12 instalments.

The government also provided the estimated number of properties that will benefit from each of the reliefs introduced or extended in 2014-15 in South Lakeland District, as well as the amount of relief awarded:

Table 1

Item

Estimated number of properties in the South Lakeland District that will benefit from these reliefs

units)

Amount of Relief Awarded

(£thousands)

2% RPI Cap on Small Business Rates Multiplier

7,782

N/A

12 month extension of small business rate relief doubling, of which:

3,412

5,5551

- 100% relief

2,653

- Tapering

759

Long Term Empty Reoccupation Relief

N/A

75

Retail Rate Relief

1,010

1,011

The 12 month extension of small business rate relief doubling is worth £5,550,000 to local businesses in our area. Long Term Empty Reoccupation Relief to bring empty shops back into use has helped businesses by £75,000. Tim believes that the work of Lib Dem run South Lakeland District Council shows through in these figures as it did in the recent empty shop and business creation figures.

Tim said: "Supporting the local small businesses and our high street are amongst my top priorities. These figures show that thousands of businesses are benefiting from lower business rates or reliefs created to bring shops back into use. But these announcements albeit welcome, are only part of the solution. We must do more to support our high street and rejuvenate our town centres. I am committed to doing everything I can to support local businesses, entrepreneurs and employers.

"When small businesses succeed our economy does."