Margot Parker has reacted to figures released by the Valuation Office Agency today

Delivered by Margot Parker on 30 September 2016

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Margot Parker MEP, who is also one of the party's MEPs for the East Midlands said: 

"I don't think there is much good news here for anyone really and it is very regrettable this is occurring just when consumer confidence is showing remarkable resilience, making a nonsense of the Remain camp's doom-mongering during the referendum campaign.

"The telecommunications industry is being particularly hard hit with many of the biggest players facing 100's of millions more in business rates next year. There is no doubt in my mind this will be reflected in higher costs for both domestic and business consumers.

"I also feel very sorry for small businesses trying to succeed in London. They already pay very high rents to operate in the capital; exorbitant sums fueled by the inflated London property market Piling rates increases based on those inflated property values is just unfair and I imagine many of them will cease trading, unable to cover their dramatically and suddenly increased running-costs."

Mrs Parker acknowledged there were possibly some positives following the announcement.

She said: "The only slightly positive outcome from this morning's release is we are going to see a massive drop in rates in many places outside London. Hopefully this will help small businesses in the Midlands, Wales and the North to grow and succeed.

"While I welcome this and believe we need to become far less'London-centric' in terms of prosperity and growth, I do hope we are not seeing a clumsy, slash-and-burn way of doing this being implemented by the government.

"But even for businesses in locations benefiting from reduced rates, those reductions could well be offset if telephone and internet provision becomes significantly more expensive, which is a distinct possibility.

"It is too soon to make concrete predictions, but I do not think it would be outrageous to claim there will be a lot of small business owners who have had their futures and plans over-turned at a single stroke.

"I am also convinced raising taxes and overheads for businesses of any size is not a growth-friendly move and should be reconsidered as a matter of urgency."








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