Published: September 1, 2012
Burnham's MP proposes reform to business rates to help small firms

Burnham-On-Sea's MP wants business rates for the UK's largest employers increased by a single percentage point in order to remove the burden of business rates on smaller businesses altogether.

Tessa Munt said on Friday that she is compiling a new parliamentary bill that will seek radical changes to the way small businesses are taxed.

She says the current system of setting business rates is "unfair and disproportionately hard" on small and medium sized firms, and has the potential to stifle the growth upon which the UK's economic recovery relies.

She wants business rates for the UK's largest employers increased by 1% in order to remove business rates from smaller businesses.

She says that if the UK is to encourage growth, the Government should act to make life easier for small and medium sized firms since 99.9% of the total number of enterprises in the UK are of this size and provide 59.1% of private sector jobs.

The Burnham and Highbridge MP says she has spent part of her summer visiting local businesses to hear their opinions and collect evidence ahead of her Private Member's Bill being discussed by Parliament.

She told "Whilst only a minority of Private Members' Bills become law, they are useful as they create a buzz around about the subject and generate some discussion. They also send a clear message to the Government that the Bill has support and deserves its attention."

"This simple 'common sense' tweak to the current unfair policy could do so much to help our struggling small and medium sized enterprises, kickstart our economy and breathe life back into our high streets. I am hopeful it will attract a good level of support and make a difference."

Tessa was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, earlier this year and one of the first issues she raised was the burden of business rates on SMEs. She has been encouraged by Mr Cable to pursue this through Parliament.


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