Rochdale MP Simon Danczuk is to lead a Westminster Hall adjournment debate in Parliament today when he will attack the Government’s proposal to delay next year’s business rates revaluation.
Labour MP Danzcuk, who has a longstanding interest in the health of town centres and independent retailers in particular, described the plan as “daft”.
His intervention will come before Parliament debates the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, which includes the provisions to postpone the business rates revaluation until 2017.
Danzcuk said: “The Government say they want to give businesses stability, but the reality is they don’t want to announce changes to business rates in April 2015 that show rates going up in the South East compared to rates coming down in the North. This would accurately reflect rental values and represent the adjustment that’s needed.
“Instead, ministers are trying to saddle small northern businesses with high taxes based on 2008 values near the peak of the property boom for years to come.
“In my constituency commercial property values have fallen by as much as 40% and we need a rates review to make sure that taxes are set fairly.
“At the moment business rates are completely out of kilter with the reality on the ground and many businesses are being forced to close because of unfair, excessively high taxes.”
Adjournment debates are not binding on policy, but give Parliamentarians the opportunity to debate issues they regard as important. Because it is a Westminster Hall debate, a minister must attend – that is expected to be Minister for Local Government Brandon Lewis.
Retailers and property owners have criticised Government’s decision to postpone the revaluation of business rates from 2015 to 2017.
The British Property Federation said the move will lead to retailers continuing to pay business rates based on “top of the market 2008 rents” for a further two years.
The planned 2015 revaluation would have meant business rates being calculated at 2013 rateable values. Under the Government’s plans, the 2017 change will be calculated at 2015 rateable values, which are likely to be higher than 2013.
Brandon Lewis has argued that the move will avoid local shops facing “unexpected hikes” in their business rates bills over the next five years.