Tuesday, 24 March 2009

credit crunch own goal



Within the last week, I (as well as Southport’s MP) have been contacted by a small business within Birkdale whose 2009/10 rates bill has increased by 48% over the previous year – a rise of over £1000 in the amount payable.

It appears that this enormous increase is solely due to the decision of the government to abolish “transitional relief” from April 2009. This was the relief designed to ensure that businesses whose rateable values increased at revaluation (most recently the 2005 revaluation) did not suffer excessive increases in rates payable.

A number of other businesses within the Borough will be similarly affected.
Would the leader:

Confirm that Sefton Council has no control over such massive increases in
business rates (or, indeed, the level of business rates generally);

Confirm whether the report in the Daily Telegraph of 24 March is
correct when it states “It means that in 2009, for the first time in 19 years, there is no cap on the amount that a business rates bill can rise.”

Agree with me that a 48% increase in rates payable is “excessive” in
anyone’s language, especially when we are experiencing the current severe recession;

Join me in supporting calls for the government to urgently reconsider its previous decision to scrap business rates transitional relief with effect from 1 April 2009.