Reduction in business rates for local firms welcomed by Harborough's MP

Neil O'Brien MP
Neil O'Brien MP

Harborough MP Neil O’Brien has welcomed confirmation from the Chancellor that up to 660 retail businesses across the Harborough District will gain from a reduction in their business rates bill.

It means a medium-sized shop on Market Harborough’s High Street, with a rateable value of £50,000, could have their business rate cut from £24,000 to £16,000 per year.

The move is seen as a boost to high streets like those in Market Harborough and Lutterworth.

During Treasury questions last week, Neil asked the Chancellor Philip Hammond about the benefits to small businesses of the business rates cut.

Mr Hammond replied that the measure was aimed at supporting small retailers – including shops, cafes, pubs and restaurants.

He said: “Just to put that in a local context, there are 660 retail properties in the Harborough local authority area with a rateable value of below £51,000, which means that there are 660 properties that could benefit.”

The Government rates cut will last for two years. It will be coupled with a new digital services tax, which will target online retailers like Amazon, who have been criticised for not paying enough tax.

Neil said, “The digital tax announcements in the recent Budget were welcomed by small businesses across Harborough.

“Our small and medium sized businesses work incredibly hard and it’s right that measures are introduced to ensure larger businesses also pay their fair share of tax.

“The additional business rate relief announced will further help those businesses, particularly on our high streets, which are an important feature of so many towns, cities and villages.

“Members of Market Harborough chamber of commerce and my local Federation of Small Businesses have for some time been calling for the Chancellor to bring in a new tax on the digital giants, and to help small businesses on the high street.”