By Deirdre Tynan • 31 August 2021 • 11:10
Small firms should not be penalised with a higher business rates bill for greening their premises or improving staff wellbeing with new amenities, while childcare providers should be granted rates relief, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has warned.
The FSB has written to the Government to highlight steps that should be taken to protect small businesses, spur economic recovery, and secure green investment as part of a business rates review that is set to move forward in the autumn.
FSB boss Mike Cherry said, “The Government is absolutely right to overhaul a business rates system which often lets online retailers operating from remote warehouses off the hook whilst punishing small businesses that serve as community hubs.
“This is a levy that hurts small firms trying to do the right thing: if you put solar panels on the roof to aid your transition to net zero, or install ventilation to support the wellbeing of your staff, the Valuation Office Agency will advise your local authority that you should be paying more in business rates.
“As we look to aid the small business community’s transition to net zero, and employee safety and wellbeing as we come out from the pandemic, this simply cannot be the right approach to taxation.
“Instead, we should be aiming to take more small firms out of the system altogether, not least our childcare providers, who have done so much to support families throughout an incredibly tough 18 months and are finding that making ends meet is an increasingly precarious business.
“Renewed efforts to ensure that rates bills are based on fair valuations are welcome and much needed – the more we can move to rolling up-to-date valuations, the more we can ensure this is a fair system fit for the digital age,” he added.
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Deirdre Tynan is an award-winning journalist who enjoys bringing the best in news reporting to Spain’s largest English-language newspaper, Euro Weekly News. She has previously worked at The Mirror, Ireland on Sunday and for news agencies, media outlets and international organisations in America, Europe and Asia. A huge fan of British politics and newspapers, Deirdre is equally fascinated by the political scene in Madrid and Sevilla. She moved to Spain in 2018 and is based in Jaen.
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