DURING the summer I asked local businesses across Wirral West to let me know their biggest concerns and what they’d like help with so I could tell the chancellor to help shape his Autumn Statement.
Pretty much all asked for support with business rates so I was delighted when George Osborne last week unveiled a package to help small businesses with a focus on reducing business rates.
He has extended the Small Business Rate Relief scheme until April 2015, and provided a new £1000 discount on business rates bills for two years for retail premises with a rateable value of up to £50,000.
This will help local shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants. Those facing bills lower than £1,000 will pay no rates at all.
The Chancellor also capped business rates, which were due to increase by 3.2 per cent in 2014/15, to two per cent as well as introducing a new reoccupation relief which will see businesses which set up in retail premises that have been empty for a year or more receive a 50 per cent discount on their rates bill for 18 months.
Thanks to everyone who took part in my surveys, the government listened and responded. This help for our high street means 8,000 businesses in Wirral will benefit from the overall package.
Local small businesses and individuals also asked for continued support with fuel costs. So I’m delighted that fuel duty rises were also cancelled, and by 2015 petrol will be 20p per litre cheaper than it would be under Labour, saving the average household £300 per year and a small business with a van £1,000.
These latest reductions in taxes will offer support to small businesses and local shops which are so vital for our community.