Merton opposes Government business rate increases

Following announcements made recently by central Government concerning a 5% increase in business rates Merton Council’s leader, Councillor David Williams, is speaking out for local businesses to support their cause and has sent a letter to Hazel Blears, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government condemning this proposal.

Leader of Merton Council, Councillor David Williams said:

‘Merton Council understands that many businesses in Merton are facing difficult times as a result of the current economic recession and that many Merton residents are employed by these local businesses. We are therefore concerned by the government’s plans to increase business rates by 5% at this time. Merton council opposes this proposal and I have written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government urging the government to recognise the considerable difficulties being faced by many businesses in Merton in this economic climate, and to reconsider the proposed 5% increase in business rates.’

Although it is estimated that Merton businesses will pay £74.239 million in National Non-Domestic Rates in 2009/10, Merton Council will only receive back £54.233 million of that, meaning that the increased rates will not even be reinvested locally.