Islwyn MP challenges the Chancellor on costly high street business rates.
Islwyn MP Chris Evans has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Phillip Hammond to express his concerns about unfair business rates.
Mr. Evans raised his concerns in a letter to the Chancellor following the spring statement which failed to provide struggling high street retailers with any relief from costly business rates.
Business rates, a tax paid for space a business operates from, grew exponentially in 2017 under the Chancellor. Calls for the Chancellor to provide relief from the damaging increase in the tax were not heeded at the Spring Statement.
Mr. Evans was moved to raise his concerns about the flawed policy after a visit to a business operating on Blackwood high street in his constituency. There Mr. Evans learned of the impact the cost rocketing business rates are having on small businesses.
There is a fear the growing rates may cripple businesses that have long been a success. During Mr. Evans visit concerns were raised that the rate is not based on profit but rather the size of the business premises. Meaning it can be imposed before the business has earned a penny, causing the new business to lose viability.
Business rates are due for review until 2021 but the Islwyn MP fears that will be too late.
The Islwyn MP said: ‘Unless urgent action is taken to relieve business rates the high street could quickly find itself a relic of the past’
‘Many small and family run businesses could be lost. It would be such a shame to see the high street become a graveyard of boarded-up shops. Action needs to be taken before it’s too late’