Brighton’s Green MP condemned the Government over its planned business rates policy, which she said could ‘devastate’ the local economy.
She used three examples of local businesses who are set to struggle after the increase; a tourist attraction, a pub and a hotel.
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, asked the Prime Minister to help small businesses which are set to suffer from rate changes.
At Prime Minister’s Questions this week. Ms Lucas said: “The Government’s business rates hike could devastate the local economy in my Brighton constituency. Brighton Pier is facing a 17 per cent increase, the World’s End pub a 123 per cent increase, and Blanch House Hotel a 400 per cent increase. Does the PM recognise that Brighton will be disproportionately affected, and will she urgently set up both a discretionary fund to support small and micro businesses and agree to a full review of the whole system?”
The Prime Minister hinted at a policy change to give ‘relief’ to those hardest hit - but her spokesperson said afterwards that no further money would be forthcoming.
Speaking after Prime Minister’s Questions, Ms Lucas MP: “Proposed business rate hikes are set to devastate small businesses across the UK, yet the Prime Minister couldn’t confirm today that she’ll offer them a helping hand. The Government’s policy on this issue is in utter chaos – with hints from Theresa May that she’d consider taking action only to be shut down moments later by her own spokesperson. For the sake of local economies up and down the country it’s time the Prime Minister steps in and gives small businesses the support they need.”
Revaluation of non-domestic business rates, which are taxes paid on non-residential properties such as shops, offices, factories, and pubs, has been carried out by the Government and are due to change at the start of April. However since this is the first time that a national reassessment has been carried out since 2010, some businesses are facing steep increases.