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Small Business: Rates
Exerpts for Sir Edward Davey
Tuesday 16 October 2018

(1 year, 4 months ago)

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Commons Chamber
Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Sir Edward Davey Portrait Sir Edward Davey (Kingston and Surbiton) (LD) - Hansard

8. What recent assessment he has made of the effect of business rates on the viability of small businesses. [907078]

Greg Clark Portrait The Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Greg Clark) - Hansard
16 Oct 2018, 12:08 p.m.

The small business sector is thriving. We have 5.7 million small and medium-sized enterprises, and we are ranked in the top 10 in the world for ease of doing business. As the right hon. Gentleman knows, the Government have taken significant action on business rates in each of the last three Budgets, including £9 billion of support announced in 2016, making sure that nearly two thirds of a million small businesses pay no rates at all.

Sir Edward Davey Portrait Sir Edward Davey - Hansard
16 Oct 2018, 12:08 p.m.

Small retailers across Kingston and Surbiton have been hit by a combination of high rises in business rates and unfair competition from online retailers, who too often escape taxation. Will the Secretary of State talk to the Chancellor before the Budget, and to European colleagues before Brexit, to agree a new tax for internet retail, using the proceeds to slash business rates and save our high streets before it is too late?

Greg Clark Portrait Greg Clark - Hansard

When the right hon. Gentleman was a Minister in the Business Department, he took part in a decision to defer revaluation, for reasons that he understands. I accept the point—it has been made strongly by the Retail Sector Council—that reflecting the contribution that high street businesses make to their communities is a significant need. As business rates are reviewed, that is one of the council’s recommendations that we will take forward.