St Albans MP Anne Main has warmly welcomed the chancellor’s announcement today in the Spring Budget that a £300m discretionary fund will be used by councils to help companies that are badly hit by the new rise in business rates.
‘I’m delighted that the chancellor has listened to the hard-pressed pubs and businesses in St Albans,’ Anne said. ‘When I protested about the changes, the minister could see just how badly some businesses and pubs were hit. Although there was an average 10 per cent reduction in business rates across the district, there were winners and losers.
‘I’ve met with pubs most affected in St Albans. I am yet to see detail on how the £300m will be distributed among local authorities, but this should allow councils to soften the blow among those hardest hit.’
Earlier this week, Anne met with the communities secretary, Sajid Javid, to protest about the planned rate rise affecting pubs and businesses in St Albans.
‘The rate rise for some public houses in St Albans was too much to swallow’, she said, ‘and this posed a great risk to pubs occupying historic buildings that faced particular challenges in maintaining their structure.’
The chancellor also announced that 90 per cent of pubs would be given £1,000 business rates discount, and introduced a £50-per-month cap on increases for firms facing the loss of small business relief.
‘This is excellent news for our historic pubs in this bracket’, Anne said: ‘These measures introduced by the chancellor will help ensure the future of pubs in our old towns and protect a vitally important aspect of British life.’