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MPs urged to publish business rates probe; The ACS is among those calling for the report before the Autumn Budget.

Byline: ROBIN MANNERING

The Association of Convenience Stores has joined leading business organisations in calling for MPs on the Treasury Select Committee to publish the final report of their business rates inquiry before the Autumn Budget.

The Treasury Select Committee launched its inquiry into business rates in February to scrutinise how government policy has impacted business.

In a letter to MPs on the committee, the organisations raised concerns that the recent ministerial reshuffle has risked delaying urgent business rates reforms.

"The Committee's recommendations carry great weight with ministers and officials, and it is vital that, notwithstanding the debate over Brexit, crucial domestic policy issues are not obscured," the letter stated.

"The prompt publication of a report would mean that it could be taken into consideration as part of the government's Autumn Budget considerations - we ask that the Committee gives serious consideration to finalising and publishing the report into the impact of business rates as a matter of urgency," it added.

Other signatories included the British Retail Consortium, the CBI, the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses and the British Property Federation.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: "The time for talk about fixing the business rates system has now passed, we need action and real change, and the Treasury Select Committee is ideally placed to propose and interrogate ideas for making the system fairer and more effective. "The most pressing need is for investment to be incentivised by the system, not penalised as it is now, and for crucial services like free-to-use cash machines and petrol forecourts to receive fairer treatment and reduced rates bills.

"Convenience stores provide essential services to the communities in which they operate and ACS has called for the government to ensure that the business rates system incentivises investment rather than penalising those who choose to invest in their business."

CAPTION(S):

The Treasury Select Committee inquiry began in February to look at the impact of business rates

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Convenience Store
Date:Sep 6, 2019
Words:325
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