Business rates devolution?

The Tax Payer’s Alliance Chief executive openly congratulated Chancellor George Osborne for his plan to devolve business rates to local councils.

It is expected that tax competition between local jurisdictions might have a lowering effect on the rates, therefore leaving businesses with more money to focus on growth and investment.

TPA said, “Devolving business rates to local councils in England is great news for taxpayers. Civic leaders will spend the cash more responsibly if they have had to raise it themselves. More than that, the potential for getting the overall rates down is huge if neighbouring authorities are going to be able to compete to attract businesses to their patch. All the evidence shows that increased tax competition between jurisdictions will mean lower taxes.

A Singh commented on the TPA website, saying, “This is a return to pre-Thatcher era,  when Councils such as Camden, Islington & Haringey brought lots of companies down with high Commercial Rates set independently of central Government. UBR was introduced by Thatcher at same time as Poll Tax to stop this abuse. Osborne promised us a top down review of Business Rates but this is merely changing the ‘Collector’. Devolution being paid for by Business owners solely, with an albatross hung around their necks.”

TNT Business

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