Tory ‘revolt’ over business rates may be welcome – but is it meaningless?

Sajid Javid is trying to quell the rebellion – but isn’t making much sense [Image: Getty].

It seems businesses, pubs, hospitals and GP surgeries – not to mention tens of thousands of shops – are right to be furious about a business rate rise of up to 300 per cent, if web giants like Amazon will end up paying next to nothing.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid and Treasury Chief Secretary David Gauke tried to calm the revolt, claiming most firms will not see a rise in their bills.

Is that apart from the 500,000 that will, then?

No wonder Tory backbenchers had it out with Philip Hammond, the Chancellor, at a 1922 Committee meeting on Monday evening (February 20). Although, isn’t it a shame they don’t react quite so quickly to issues that will affect the poor, but won’t harm their own electability?

If, as Messrs Javid and Gauke claimed, there has been a “relentless campaign of distortions and half-truths”, then why has Mr Hammond now said he is in “listening mode”, prepared to reconsider business taxes in the future, and “alive to the concerns around the digital economy”?

And doesn’t “listening mode” mean he’ll listen, but do nothing?
Source: Panicking Tory ministers write to MPs as they try to head off business rates revolt

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3 thoughts on “Tory ‘revolt’ over business rates may be welcome – but is it meaningless?

  1. Barry Davies

    Why are Hospitals, and GP surgeries, even included in this tax in the first place? this means less money that is supposed to be there for patient care is available as the government are essentially clawing it back.

  2. Dez

    When this business rate revisit was first announced it all sounded very harmless and very little impact was emphasised with regard to the then current rating system. But as usual when it comes to the crunch the real impact of the basic revaluation suddenly comes out of the woodwork. Same as the Pension changes the real truth comes out in the devils details. It’s the Governments usual game plan ie announce the changes vaguely but emphasise the business as usual and no real impact message. Then bingo when it comes to delivery new game plan with emphasis on making sure the natives do not get to restless that we lose their votes or riots take place in the streets as per poll tax debacle. Sure some tweaking however the business rates have always gone up with inflation based on a fixed point business property valuation so the amount collected has met the Council needs. However bringing the basic valuation up to days values is not fair if the rates themselves are then not reduced to capture and reflect the pot required. The fact some favoured Councils are being told they can keep the business rates to pay for the new Government hand-me-downs suggests this is no longer a balloon squeezing exercise it is now a grab it and run bribe. You thought the high streets were looking grim those lame brains will see a major collapse going forward on this course….but hey as usual common sense is still the Cons weakest link so nothing much will change.

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