Tories backing small business relief billBy Linda Fort
February 12, 2009
Two leading Reading Tories are backing a private member’s bill which could see small businesses automatically granted rate relief.
The bill, called the Small Business Rate Relief (Automatic Payment) Bill, was tabled by Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff.
Reading East MP Rob Wilson and Reading West prospective Parliamentary candidate Alok Sharma have lent their support to Mr Luff’s move after his recent visit to Reading.
Commenting on the bill, Mr Wilson said: “I’m delighted that Peter Luff has tabled this Bill. It takes the Conservatives’ campaign to help small businesses to the next level and it has my full support.
“Wales has passed a similar Bill into law and I can’t see why this Government hasn’t made similar steps during these difficult times for the economy.
"It is quite evident the Government has botched its handling of the economic crisis and people are having to rely on Conservatives for the ideas to get the country out of this mess created by Gordon Brown.”
Mr Sharma said: “It was great to see Peter Luff in Reading last week and together he and I had a very good discussion with local representatives of the Federation of Small Businesses who are fully behind Peter’s excellent Small Business Rate Relief (Automatic Payment) Bill.
“Despite a lot of huffing and puffing from Government ministers about new initiatives to help business the reality is that many local businesses have seen no easing of credit from lenders, no practical help from Government and no assistance with business cash flow issues.”
According to the Local Government Association (LGA) £400 million was left unclaimed by businesses entitled to rate relief in 2006.
The relief can save businesses up to £2,500 a year.