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MP asks Chancellor to halve business rates for local firms this Christmas in Parliament

December 12, 2018 1:45 PM

On the floor of the House of Commons this afternoon, South Lakes MP Tim Farron urged the Chancellor to give local businesses on the high street a much-needed tax break this Christmas.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Tim said: "51,000 shops in the UK high street closed in the last year.

"Local businesses in even successful places like Kendal and Windermere struggle because they are forced to pay huge taxes whilst mega online retailers get away with paying next to nothing at all.

"So, will the Chancellor give a well-deserved Christmas present to the high street by halving business rates paid for by internet firms on the basis of their turnover, not just their profits."

In response, the Chancellor said the Government were planning on cutting business rates by a third and that they would be introducing a digital services tax on online companies. He also added he would be happy to meet with Tim to discuss their plans.

Speaking afterwards, Tim said: "While it's positive that the Government are taking steps in the right direction, they simply don't go far enough.

"I've got businesses telling me that they are struggling to get by paying these extortionate rates, while the Government's proposed tax on online mega retailers won't be introduced until April 2020 at the very earliest.

"The Government need to stop dragging their feet and give our hard-working local businesses a much-needed boost now."