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Non-Domestic Rates: Business

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 10 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what assessment she has made of the merits of local authorities being able to levy a business rate. (261634)

The Lyons Inquiry into local government considered the case for returning business rates to local control. Its analysis was that this would not be appropriate at the current time. The Government agreed. However, Sir Michael Lyons’ did recommend introducing a new local flexibility to set a supplement on business rates.

In October 2007, alongside the 2007 Pre-Budget Report and comprehensive spending review, the Government published ‘Business rate supplements: a White Paper’. The Business Rate Supplements Bill was then introduced in the House of Commons on 4 December 2008 and gives effect to the Government’s proposals in the White Paper. The Bill provides the Greater London Authority and, outside London, upper tier local authorities with a discretionary power to levy a supplement on the business rate and retain and invest the proceeds in additional projects aimed at promoting the economic development of local areas.