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House of Commons Hansard
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25 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government with reference to his Department's publication of February 2010, Number of hereditaments benefiting from Small Business Rate Relief and the number of empty hereditaments, what his latest estimate is of the number and proportion of eligible small firms who do not claim small business rate relief. [323186]

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Local authorities estimated that 462,000 hereditaments were benefiting from Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) on December 2008. By applying that figure to the eligibility estimates made for the 2005 rating list it is estimated that around 80 per cent. of eligible hereditaments were claiming SBRR in 2008-09 - see table 1. This estimate suggests that around 20 per cent. or 113,000 of eligible hereditaments are not claiming SBRR. However, relief granted to small businesses has been increasing since SBRR was introduced-from £202 million in 2005-06 to £298 million in 2008-09. This represents a real terms increase of 34 per cent. Furthermore in 2008-09, 92 per cent. of the total relief that would be paid if all those estimated to be eligible were to claim, was actually being paid - see table 2.

Table 1: Take-up of SBRR - numbers claiming

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Number of hereditaments actually claiming SBRR (thousand)

396

433

462

Number of hereditaments estimated to be occupied by eligible small businesses (thousand)

575

575

575

Percentage of estimated eligible actually claiming:

69

75

80

Table 2: Take-up of SBRR 2005-06 to 2008-09 - relief

2005-06

2006-07

2007-08

2008-09

Total relief that would be paid out if all properties estimated to be occupied by eligible small businesses were to claim1 (£ million)

295

300

315

325

Relief actually claimed: (£ million)

202

237

259

£98

Percentage take-up2 (%)

69

78

83

92

1 For details of how this estimate was made please see the paper "Small business rate relief-improving evidence on eligibility and take-up: Methodology"

2 Percentage of total relief, which would be paid if all eligible small businesses claimed it, that was actually paid

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To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many hereditaments are (a) above the rateable value threshold for small business rate relief, (b) below the rateable value for small business rate relief but not occupied by eligible small businesses, (c) below the rateable value threshold for small business rate relief and occupied by an eligible small business claiming the relief and (d) below the rateable value threshold for small business rate relief and occupied by a eligible small business not claiming relief in each region; what estimate he has made of the monetary value of small business rate relief available to each eligible firm claiming the relief in each region; and how much has been claimed in small business rate relief by businesses in each region in 2009-10 to date. [323817]

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The information is as follows:

(a) The number of hereditaments above the rateable value threshold for Small Business Rate Relief by region on the 2005 Rating List are shown in the following table. These numbers are consistent with the statistical release titled “Non-domestic rateable values: 2010 Local Ratings Lists—England and Wales” published on 18 December 2009.

Government office region

Number of hereditaments above the rateable value threshold1 for SBRR on 2005 Rating List

North East

18,000

North West

59,000

Yorkshire and the Humber

41,000

East Midlands

35,000

West Midlands

47,000

East of England

51,000

London

81,000

South East

79,000

South West

42,000

Total

453,000

1 Hereditaments with a rateable value over £15,000 or £21,500 in London

(b), (c) and (d) The report “Small Business Rate Relief—improving evidence on eligibility and take-up was published on 9 December 2009 and it estimates that of the approximately 1.2 million non-domestic properties in England which fall below the current rateable value (RV) thresholds for SBRR, around 575,000 are occupied by eligible small businesses. This report has been validated by an independent peer review and is available at

http://www.communities.gov.uk

This methodology can only be applied nationally for England as a whole. Therefore it is not possible to calculate an estimate of eligibility of small business rate relief by region.

No estimate has been made of the monetary value of small business rate relief in each eligible firm in each region claiming the relief.

The amount of small business rate relief is collected from local authorities on a financial year basis. Therefore it is not possible to provide figures on how much small business rate relief has been claimed in 2009-10 to date. The amount of small business rate relief claimed by businesses in each region in 2009-10 will be available following the publication of the Statistical Release on “National non-domestic rates collected by local authorities in England 2009-10” later this year.