Waveney MP Peter Aldous urges chancellor George Osborne to spare firms from 5.6pc business rate hike

Chancellor George Osborne is facing fresh calls not to press ahead with a planned 5.6pc rise in business rates next month.

Retailers, in particular are bracing themselves for the inflation-linked hike, which is based on last September's retail price index.

But Waveney MP Peter Aldous has written to the chancellor urging him to think again.

Mr Aldous, who raised the issue during last weeks prime minister's questions, is backing a 2pc limit being proposed in a campaign by the Assocation of Convenience Stores, which has sounded the alarm about the plans.

He has also put down an early day motion calling for the cap, which is in line with the government's own inflation target, which has already secured cross party support.


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Urging the chancellor to introduce the cap in his forthcoming budget on March 21, Mr Aldous said the proposed hike was based on a on a spike in RPI and bears 'no correlation' to future inlation rises.

He said the cap was a progressive measure that would boost jobs and provide certainty on future rates and give businesses the confidence to invest and expand.

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'Business rates are to rise 5.6pc in line with inflation based on September's RPI figure which was a particular spike,' he added.

'These are people who we want to create new jobs – a lot of other people are having their increases limited. There are various concession for small rural businesses, but for a lot of those on the high street it's going to be an extra cost, which quite frankly they can do without

'I recognise that the government and the chancellor have got a limited pot of money to go around, but I think it's right to get this on the radar so that it can be properly taken in when budget decisions are being made in the next couple of weeks.

'We want private businesses to play a leading role in getting us out of recession.

'We don't want to be adding additional burdens particularly on smaller businesses.'

shaun.lowthorpe@archant.co.uk

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