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Non-Domestic Rates

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (1) what estimate her Department has made of the cost to (a) central Government and (b) local authorities of implementing the business rates deferral scheme; and if she will make a statement; (277464)

(2) what estimate her Department has made of the cost to (a) businesses and (b) local authorities of acquiring software for the administration of the business rates deferral scheme; and if she will make a statement;

(3) how much funding her Department has allocated to meet implementation costs for the business rates deferral scheme; and if she will make a statement.

The business rates deferral scheme will be operated by local billing authorities as part of their collection of business rates. As set out in the Business Rates Information Letter of 11 May 2009, which is available on the internet at

http://www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/busrats1.htm

and was provided to all billing authorities in England, any net additional costs to local government as a whole arising from the business rates deferral scheme will be fully funded under the new burdens principle.

The Government will be publishing an impact assessment alongside laying regulations in Parliament to implement the scheme. This assessment will consider possible costs to businesses and local authorities arising from changes to software systems or other administration.