PRA COMMENTS ON CONSERVATIVE PARTY BUSINESS RATES PROPOSAL

Published 07/10/2015 00:00:00 in Press Releases

Following the news that Local Authorities (LA’s) in England will be able to keep the proceeds from business rates raised in their area under plans unveiled by Chancellor George Osborne, the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA) has deemed this as ‘another bitter blow to business pragmatism’.

Speaking at the conservative party conference in Manchester, Mr Osborne called the new plans the "biggest transfer of power" in recent history. He stated that councils would be able to cut rates to attract new business whilst others may be able to raise rates to boost income. Overall, the Local Authorities would hold on to the full £26bn a year raised from business rates so consigning the Uniform Business Rates (UBR) scheme to history.

Brian Madderson, PRA Chairman comments, “The radical restructuring of business rates which the retail industry was promised has not happened. Instead, the now well-worn path of ‘localism’ that we have already seen failing with the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is being imposed upon us. Devolution does not always provide the best answer for business.

“PRA members have tried and failed with many Local Authorities to obtain rates relief for small rural filling stations to prevent their closure. They have also appealed for relief on cash machines (ATM) at filling stations with little success. This is down to central government squeezing funds for LA’s on the one hand, and on the other encouraging them to raise more revenue from Business Rates.

“Many LA’s now employ sub-contractors to identify properties including ATM’s that have not previously been rated as a means of bolstering their income.

“Our larger members have networks of filling stations which involve multiple LA’s. There will be an unwelcome increase in time and cost to appeal rating decisions made in each area. It will provide uncertainty as to costs.  It could even lead to unfair competition between filling stations in adjacent LA’s which have significantly different rates.

“We believe that this proposal is just another example of a government completely out of touch with the retail business community – similar to the recent proposal for a ‘living wage’.”

 

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

Rupal Rawal, Press Officer
Tel: 020 7307 3412
Mob: 07528 977 157
Press Office direct line: 020 7307 3422
Press Office fax: 020 7307 3406

Web: www.rmif.co.uk  Email: rupal.rawal@rmif.co.uk

The Retail Motor Industry represents the interests of operators in England, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Isle of Man providing sales and services to motorists and businesses. The RMI has a formal association with the independent Scottish Motor Trade Association which represents the retail motor industry in Scotland.

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