Proposed hike in business rates for London

I was never very good with bosses.

The vast majority of economic activity in our city is undertaken by small businesses. Therefore, any policy that has a negative impact on small businesses strikes at the very heart of our city’s economy.

LONDON MUST NOT BE PUNISHED FOR ITS SUCCESS

I was never very good with bosses. One of my first experiences in the world of work was as a management consultant.

At the beginning of my first week, I sank into my chair and was very quickly rendered comatose by the presentation on efficient management structures.

Unluckily for me, I was given my instructions just as the Sandman worked his magic and my head lolled a little too obviously. We parted company at the end of that week.

Ever since, I’ve much preferred being in charge (albeit now with 7 million bosses). Indeed, it is that same desire to be your own boss that drives many people to start their own small business. Despite the odds being stacked against you, the risk is neatly balanced with the rewards of creating and sustaining something unique.

Watching the hoards stream over London Bridge each morning makes one think that everyone in London is employed by large city corporations. As it happens, 40% of Londoners are employed by small businesses. The vast majority of economic activity in our city is undertaken by small businesses. Therefore, any policy that has a negative impact on small businesses strikes at the very heart of our city’s economy.

So imagine my disbelief when I hear that the Labour Government is planning a 10% hike in business rates for London before inflation, over the next five years. Most other regions in the U.K. can look forward to reductions.

London, it seems, is being punished for its success. In their infinite wisdom, the Government decided to revalue rates based on property valuations in April 2008. That’s a bit like pricing bubble gum based on it’s mass – at the point just before it bursts all over your face.

This action directly contradicts all the mighty rhetoric spewing from Gordon Brown about helping the country through the recession. I am calling on the Government to think again about this rate hike before they make their final decision in the autumn, because it is just madness to hit our small businesses when they are the key to getting London out of the recession.

You can have your say too, by sending your views to the Government on brsregsconsultation@communities.gsi.gov.uk and asking them to think again.

Look out for Boris on Blue Blog for the full post

4 thoughts on “Proposed hike in business rates for London”

  1. The idea that London pays more than it receives for ‘local services’ is untrue, since so much public expenditure is dressed up as being ‘national’ when in fact it takes place in and mainly benefits London.

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