The Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee has today issued a report looking at 100 per cent business rates retention for councils and the obstacles that must be overcome. Within the report, it identifies that the removal of plant and machinery from business rates calculations would help to encourage growth and ultimately tax revenues – a move that would support manufacturing investment and growth.
Chris Richards, Senior Business Environment Policy Adviser at EEF, the manufacturers’ organisation, says: "Today's report is timely and very welcome. It backs our calls to Government to remove plant and machinery from business rates calculations, as this will help to encourage investment across manufacturing and in the troubled steel sector, boosting growth and ultimately tax revenues.
"However, we do take a different view from the report's authors on whether the fragmentation of local government in to over 300 authorities in England should continue. From a business perspective, it would be simpler and more effective for local councils to join up into geographically larger local authorities. 'Larger, but less', rather than 'smaller and more' would help expand the tax base, smooth local government revenues and more effectively balance the risks and rewards. We want to see the debate around local government finance refocused on whether local authority mergers would enable a more efficient use of tax revenues."