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London First response to Supplementary Business Rate prospectus (30 Jul 09)

Baroness Jo Valentine, Chief Executive of business group London First, responded to the Mayor’s consultation on a supplementary business rate to part fund Crossrail.  She said:

“Crossrail and Tube Improvement are together the most vital investment in London’s future competitiveness and a supplement on business rates will form a significant part of the funding package. However, this is a tough time for the capital’s business community, made tougher by a more general increase in business rates which hits hard in London. We would prefer the business rate to be introduced in a phased way, and for it to be set at less than the allowed maximum of 2p in the pound.  This should be possible given the increased base, as the April 2010 revaluation is implemented.”

Background information
The Business Rate Supplement Act 2009 gives the Mayor power to raise a supplement, in this case to pay towards Crossrail, up to a maximum of 2p per £ of rateable value.

A national rating revaluation was undertaken in April 2008 which will be implemented in April 2010. This results in a significant increase in rates to be paid by most London businesses. Following pressure by London First and other business bodies, the Government is consulting on a phasing arrangement for these increases. The revaluation also increases the total rateable value of the properties upon which the Mayor will levy his supplementary rate. This provides an opportunity to set the rate at a lower level than 2p in the pound, while still achieving the budgeted revenue.

Ends

Notes to Editors

London First is a business membership organisation with a mission to make London the best city in the world in which to do business. London First undertakes this by mobilising the experience, expertise and enthusiasm of the private sector to develop practical solutions to the challenges facing London. London First also seeks to persuade central and London government to make the investments that London needs in its infrastructure.

London First delivers its activities with the support of the capital’s major businesses in key sectors such as finance, professional services, property, ICT, creative industries, hospitality and retail. Membership also includes further education colleges and all of London’s universities. London First members represent over a quarter of London’s GDP.

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