Business rates cuts all smoke and mirrors

Readers' letters | Published:

Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, announced to great fanfare at his Budget a wonderful plan to save the collapsing high street with help with business rates cuts.

Philip Hammond

Philip! Pathetic. Smoke and mirrors.

Under Philip’s plan to qualify, the business premises must have a rateable value of £51,000 or less. Clever. Very few struggling independent restaurants and public houses qualify with such a generous offer of help.

Cromwell’s and many other businesses are above this threshold due to a more than doubling of business rates last year. Clever move Philip. Good headlines.

In Shrewsbury, businesses like Marks & Spencer and House of Fraser have seen their rates halved and smaller businesses have seen their rates cut by a third. Those of us too small to have aggressive lobbying and too large to benefit from this, I believe is confidence trickery of support – now supporting national chains and very small businesses or those who under declare their sales income. Thanks Philip!

I suggest people check out the VOA website to see how much the restaurant they benefit with their custom actually pays in business rates. Some pay nothing whereas others are being crippled.

In my opinion Shropshire Council and the Valuation Office have been instrumental in destroying honest independent businesses.

Mike Avery, Cromwell’s, Shrewsbury

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