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22 February 2017

FSB welcomes Prime Minister’s intervention on business rates

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has welcomed Theresa May’s confirmation at Prime Minister’s Questions today that that she has asked the Chancellor, Philip Hammond and Communities Secretary, Sajid Javid, to provide additional help for those firms worst affected by the upcoming changes to business rates.

Speaking in the Commons, the Prime Minister acknowledged that some businesses would be “particularly adversely affected” by the changes and said that the Chancellor and Business Secretary had been tasked by her to make sure there was “appropriate relief” for them.

FSB is urging the Government to act in next month’s Budget on precisely these lines, following last year’s commitment to provide £6.7bn of assistance for smaller businesses, taking many out of the system altogether.

FSB National Chairman Mike Cherry, said: “I am reassured to hear that the Prime Minister has personally intervened in this extremely worrying situation for many small businesses.

“Many of our members have contacted us to say that they are facing completely unfair and disproportionate increases in their tax bills, with some considering whether to close or scale back their business. That would clearly be in no one’s interest.

“Previous interventions by the Government, backed by FSB, have resulted in 600,000 small businesses receiving 100% relief and therefore protected from the current business rate changes. But the extent of loss faced by some small businesses who are still in scope has created an unacceptable situation and I look forward to hearing the Chancellor’s proposals at the Spring Budget in two weeks’ time.”