On 16th January 2017, I raised the important issue of business rates with the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government during Communities and Local Government questions in the Chamber:
Mr Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): What progress he has made on enabling local authorities to retain 100% of business rates.
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Sajid Javid): Councils have long campaigned for 100% business rate retention. Last week, we introduced the Local Government Finance Bill, which will establish the framework for the reform system. We will continue to work closely with local government during the passage of the legislation to shape the detail of the reforms.
Mr Steve Baker (Wycombe) (Con): As you know, Mr Speaker, Buckinghamshire is the entrepreneurial heart of England. What assurances can the Secretary of State give the people of Wycombe that the needs-based review and the new business rate system will result in rebalanced service funding to reflect better economic growth in entrepreneurial areas such as ours?
The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Sajid Javid): I have visited the area with my hon. Friend several times, and he is right to call it entrepreneurial. Under the new business rates retention system, the redistribution of resources will continue, with baselines set through the fair funding review, so that all authorities are treated fairly.
Wycombe’s motto is “Industria ditat”: industry enriches. I am proud that our area is entrepreneurial and business-focussed. Long may that continue and I look forward to local government having ever greater incentives to support the flourishing of local enterprises.