Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Stephen Metcalfe MP hails help for high streets

Stephen Metcalfe, local MP for South Basildon and East Thurrock, has welcomed measures introduced by this Government to help high streets adapt to changing consumer spending habits.

As part of the Conservatives’ long-term economic plan, the Government are cutting taxes for small businesses to help them create more jobs, as well as introducing a raft of measures to help local firms with their business rate bills including:

  • Small shops, pubs and businesses with a Rateable Value of less than £50,000 will receive £1,000 off their rates bill for the next two years;
  • The annual indexation increase in 2014-15 bills is being capped at 2%;
  • Businesses will be allowed to pay over 12 instalments instead of 10, helping all businesses with their cash flow;
  • To help get empty shops back into use, the Government are introducing a new reoccupation relief that halves rates for 18 months for businesses taking on a long-term empty shop.
  • Businesses such as payday lenders and betting shops will not be eligible for this tax relief.

Mr Metcalfe commented: “Having recently visited a number of local independent retailers for Small Business Saturday, I am acutely aware of the challenges facing the high street at the moment. I am delighted that the Government are taking assertive action and know that these measures will make a huge difference to many of the invaluable small shops and local traders we find in our town centres across the country.”

Additionally, the Government have announced that they will be stop over-zealous parking enforcement and unreasonable parking practices; hold consultations on new development rights to help get empty and redundant buildings back in use; and they have called for evidence on cutting red tape in retail.

Stephen added: “I also want constituents to know about the Future High Streets Forum which brings together businesses, academics, and local leaders to look at the challenges facing our town centres and to work with councils to build on what Government has started. These measures show that the Government is backing the high street and I look forward to seeing South and Basildon and East Thurrock reap the rewards of this.”