Published: July 11, 2012
Burnham-On-Sea MP calls for re-think on 'unfair' business rates

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this week called for a re-think to the law that sees firms being saddled with "unfair" business rates.

Tessa Munt, pictured in her London office, wants a change to legislation after being contacted by a local businessman.

Steve Wilson, a pub licensee, says the current method of calculating business rates is unfair.

At the moment business rates are based on the rateable value of a property and are calculated by the floor space of a business and not by the profit the business generates.

Steve has found this means that small businesses with large premises, such as his pub, pay a higher proportion of their turnover than other large premises such as supermarkets.

In the area, rateable values have remained the same for many years, but were reassessed in 2010. Steve was shocked that this reassessment saw his pub's tax bill rise from £970 to £2,360 per month.

He said: "At its peak this pub was giving me a reasonable income. This has gone down significantly in the last year because of the rise in costs. The rates increase is by far the biggest rise. It could lead to me going out of business."

Tessa told "I have recently been appointed as Parliamentary Private Secretary to Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. One of the first issues I raised was the issue of business rates and Vince encouraged me to pursue this in Parliament. I have contacted the relevant clerks in the House with regard to laying down a bill which I hope will begin the process of changing the law to make the business rates system fairer for small businesses."


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