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Non-domestic Rates: Ports

Volume 507: debated on Thursday 11 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many port businesses have paid the assessments for business rates for 2009-10; how many such businesses have paid a first contribution into his Department's scheme to allow the payment of such retrospective charges over eight years; and what estimate he has made of the number of businesses eligible for assistance under this scheme. (321417)

The Department does not hold information on the extent to which individual businesses have met their business rates liabilities for 2009-10.

Local authorities reported that, as at 8 October 2009, ratepayers occupying 221 properties within ports had fully discharged their backdated liability and ratepayers occupying a further 200 business properties within ports had been granted a schedule of payments.

In a Business Rates Information letter dated 10 February 2009, the Government said that, based on historical trends, they estimate that up to 1,500 properties could benefit from a schedule of payments in 2009-10.

The Government have listened to the concerns of businesses with significant and unexpected backdated bills, including some of those within ports. It has legislated to enable such bills to be repaid over an unprecedented eight years rather than in one instalment thus helping affected businesses to manage the impact on their cash flows during the downturn by reducing the amount they are required to pay now by 87.5 per cent.