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Business Rates Relief

Volume 676: debated on Monday 18 May 2020

If he will take steps through the Government’s Business Rates Review to tackle exploitation of business rates relief. (902691)

The Government have committed to undertake a fundamental review of business rates and published the terms of reference at the Budget. The review will be comprehensive and look at the effectiveness and operation of different reliefs and compliance with the tax. The call for evidence will be published in the coming months; stakeholders will be invited to contribute their views throughout the review, and I will welcome any thoughts or ideas my hon. Friend may wish to add.

I welcome the Government’s wholesome package of support for the business sector and the hospitality and tourism sector, showing that we are a Government for the many, not the few. Would the Minister meet me to discuss how we might close the loopholes that may be used by those who would opportunistically exploit current business rates?

If there are people who are illegitimately taking advantage of loopholes in the rates, I am of course happy to discuss that. I remind my hon. Friend that there may well be circumstances in which people are in fact complying with the rules. It is a fiddly area, and I want to be certain that we are going after the people we should be going after.