MPs have attracted criticism for rejecting amendments to a bill designed to protect businesses’ right to veto business rates levies.
Under the amendments to the Business Rates Supplements Bill, any council trying to introduce supplementary business rates levies to fund local infrastructure projects would have needed to receive backing from 75 per cent of affected companies.
They were introduced and approved by the House of Lords last week but were dependent on a further vote of approval in the Commons before they could be permanently tacked onto the bill.
The CBI has slammed MPs for throwing out the protections, saying that the rejection “pokes a finger in the eye of British business at a difficult time.”
CBI deputy director-general John Cridland said: “We had called for sensible changes that would have ensured more effective local government spending. They would have helped avoid unnecessary, misguided tax supplements that could lead to further job losses.”
Now that the amendments have been rejected by MPs the protections they were intended to bring into the laws governing the business rates levy system will not be enacted.
As the bill stands, councils need only seek local businesses approval to introduce a levy where private financing will fund more than one-third of a public project.
The bill will now return to the House of Lords, where it is predicted to be ratified without the amendments. If this happens the Business Rates Bill is likely to receive royal assent by the end of the month.