Andrew Bingham (High Peak) (Con): My right hon. Friend will be aware of the concerns about the new business rates. Although there is a welcome from many of the businesses in the High Peak that will be taken out of business rates, there is a concern among those who have seen an increase—in one case one of as much as 85%. Can she give me an assurance, and give those businesses an assurance, that we will do all we can for these people, who work incredibly hard to be the engine room of our economy, as a rise of this size may threaten their livelihoods?

The Prime Minister (Mrs Theresa May): As my hon. Friend will know, business rates are based on property value and it has been seven years since property values were last looked at, so I think it is absolutely right that we update them. But of course, as I recognised last week, there are different impacts on different businesses, and it is important that we have already put significant sums into transitional support for businesses so that we help the companies that are facing increased bills. As I said in this House last week, I have asked my right hon. Friends the Chancellor and the Communities and Local Government Secretary to make sure that the support that is provided is appropriate and is in place for the hardest cases. I would expect my right hon. Friend the Chancellor to say more about this next week in the Budget.

Hansard Source


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