UK Politics

Conservative Party: Tax bombshell on local firms

News   •   Jan 04, 2010 10:47 GMT

Justine Greening, the Shadow Minister for Local Government, criticises Labour tax hikes that are to hit sports and rural England in the middle of the recession.

Just before Christmas, the Government slipped out new figures revealing the types of local firms that will be the hardest hit by a controversial business rates revaluation taking place across the country.

Rates are the third largest ongoing for most firms after wage costs and rent. Northern Ireland has already postponed its rates revaluation because of the harmful effect of large tax rises during a recession, yet Labour Ministers have refused to do so.

Greening said that "many types of firms face massive increases - from livestock markets to hotels to beach huts. This is the worst possible time for such a rates shake-up".

Sporting organisations and rural premises face the highest rises their business rates. Amongst the worst hit are lifeboat stations, county cricket grounds, zoos, football stadiums, livestock markets, petrol stations, beach huts, nurseries, caravan sites, rugby union grounds, racing tables and heritage railways.

"Only Gordon Brown would levy such a sports tax in the run up to the Olympics", Justine Greening said.

"It is the height of economic incompetence for Labour Ministers to change the way that a £21 billion tax works in the middle of a devastating recession without any impact assessment", she added.