Treasury Committee

The impact of Business Rates on business inquiry

Inquiry status: Concluded
Due to the general election on 12 December 2019 the Committee has now closed this inquiry. Following the dissolution of Parliament on 6 November, all Select Committees will cease to exist until after the general election. If an inquiry on this subject is held in the future, the Committee may refer to the evidence already gathered as part of this inquiry.

Scope of the inquiry

The Treasury Committee has launched an inquiry into Business Rates to scrutinise how Government policy has impacted business. The Committee will examine how Business Rates policy has changed, including Business Rates retention, alternatives to property-based taxes, such as the proposed digital services tax, and how changes to Business Rates could impact businesses.

Terms of Reference

The inquiry will look at how changes in Central Government policy have changed the business rates system. In turn, this inquiry will also look at how the current business rates system is operating and the associated impact on business.

The inquiry will cover the following:

  • The impact of changes in Business Rates policy since 2017 on businesses, in particular:
    - the changes in reliefs and allowances
    - the ability of businesses to pay
    - The relationship between Business Rates and the behaviours it drives in business.
  • How the current Business Rate system measures up against the following pillars of good tax policy: 
    - Fair
    - Support growth and encourage competition
    - Provide certainty
    - Be coherent.
  • The economic justification for a property-based business tax:
    - The impact of Business Rates on rental prices
    - The impact of Business Rates on property prices
    - Alternatives to property-based business taxes, such as the proposed digital services tax
    - The problems associated with property-based business taxes
    - The impact of changes (proposed and actual) of Business Rates on Local Authorities and Councils, and the High Street.

Further information

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Latest evidence

  • 10 Jul 2019 - Impact of Business Rates on Business - oral evidence | PDF version (PDF410 KB) HC 222 | Published 31 Jul 2019

    Evidence given by Melissa Tatton, Chief Executive Officer, Valuation Office Agency, Alan Colston, Chief Valuer, Valuation Office AgencyJesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, HM Treasury, Rishi Sunak, Minister for Local Government, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, Mike Williams, Director Business and International Tax, HM Treasury

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