HC Deb 07 March 2000 vol 345 c595W
37. Mr. Ruffley

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what recent representations he has received regarding the level of business rates for small businesses. [112209]

Ms Armstrong

I have received representations from small businesses welcoming the transitional relief scheme announced on 25 November and calling for a rate relief scheme for small businesses.

The transitional relief scheme, which favours small businesses, will phase in significant changes in rate bills resulting from the revaluation on 1 April. In addition many small businesses will benefit from the revaluation itself and the reduction in the multiplier to 41.6p for every £1 of rateable value.

We set out a possible rate relief scheme for small businesses in our White Paper, "Modern Local Government: In Touch with the People" (1998). We have discussed this scheme with representatives of small businesses, and we aim next to hold a public consultation exercise on the details of the scheme.