Small businesses could receive business tax relief

7th October 2014

Business secretary Vince Cable has indicated that smaller companies could soon be offered help dealing with business rates, a controversial tax seen as a burden by many SMEs.
Mr Cable implied that he had already had protracted talks with the Treasury regarding the issue. His comments, which came at a fringe meeting at the Liberal Democrat conference in Glasgow, have sparked speculation that SMEs could be offered some relief on rates.
Mr Cable said:
‘I had hoped at conference we would be able to announce something that would really help small businesses on business rates, because this is a real problem area.’
‘We haven’t quite got to the conclusions of these discussions but I think there will be something positive in the pipeline at the Autumn Statement.’
Danny Alexander, the chief secretary to the Treasury, has confirmed that fundamental review of business rates was in progress, but offered no details regarding what was being planned.
Mr Alexander said:
‘If Vince Cable has something positive to say about business rates, he should be allowed to say it,’
‘I recognise that business rates are an issue and we have taken steps in this Parliament.’
Mr Alexander added that although business rates were a ‘complicated’ topic, it was something that the government was taking very seriously.
‘I’m sure Vince has things in mind but I would say we are engaged in a look at how business rates work more fundamentally.  That’s a long term question.’ Mr Alexander concluded.

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