§ Geraldine Smith
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions what representations have been received on the reform of the business rate system. 618W
§ Dr. Whitehead
The Green Paper "Modernising Local Government Finance", published 19 September 2000, invited comments on a range of issues relating to reform of business rates. In response to that consultation we received 1,107 non-campaign responses of which the overwhelming majority included responses on business rates. A summary is available on the DTLR website at www.dtlr.gov.uk. We will set out our response to the consultation in the Local Government White Paper later this year.
On 16 February 2001 we issued a further consultation paper on extending the agricultural exemption from rates to machinery rings and share farming enterprises on which we received 34 responses. Again, we will set out next steps in the forthcoming Local Government White Paper.
My Department continuously receives correspondence on the business rates system, which includes representations on reforms to various parts of the rating system.