Therese has welcomed government plans to consult on closing a tax loophole, which could be costing our councils in lost council tax revenue. By calling second homes 'holiday let accommodation', some owners can potentially avoid paying council tax and instead pay business rates. However, as most holiday lets are liable for small business rate relief – some are able to pay nothing at all.
Therese said: "Second homeowners are really important to the local economy here in Suffolk through their own spending or by bringing in tourists who support local businesses. Many of them already pay council tax. What this proposal does is to ensure any second homeowner that claims business rate relief is actually entitled to it, by proving they are letting their property - and those who aren't should be paying council tax. This is a subject I raised with the Minister earlier this year."
The consultation runs until the 15th January and you can have your say here.
Yesterday in Parliament, the Chancellor delivered the Budget. He outlined how the economy is in a better shape than forecast, that we no longer need to borrow for day to day spending - and that thanks to the careful stewardship of the economy there are more people working than ever before.
The economy is forecast to continue to grow - enabling us to deliver our election manifesto pledge one year early in allowing more people to keep more of their money - as well as increasing investment in the NHS and other public services.
The main Budget measures include:
- Overall investment in public services will increase in real terms over the next five years.
- Funding the Prime Minister's NHS commitment. We have fully-funded the cash settlement that was set out in June – which equates to £20.5 billion more in real terms by 2023-24.
- Fulfilling our promises on income tax one year early, so people keep more of what they earn. We will raise the Personal Allowance to £12,500 and Higher Rate Threshold to £50,000 one year early, saving a typical basic rate taxpayer £130 compared to 2018-19 and £1,205 compared to 2010-11.
- Supporting our councils with an additional £1 billion of funding. We will support councils with £650 million for social care, £84 million for children's social care programmes over five years and £420 million for potholes this year.
- Backing high streets by cutting business rates by a third for two years. Rates will be cut by a third for retailers with rateable value under £51,000, saving up to 90 per cent of all shops up to £8,000 each year.
- Investing an additional £1.7 billion per year to benefit working families on Universal Credit. We will increase the work allowance – the amount families can earn before losing benefits – by £1,000, worth £630 per year to those households.
- Freezing fuel duty for the ninth year, saving the average car driver a cumulative £1,000 by April 2010.
- Freezing beer, cider and spirits duty for another year, supporting patrons of the Great British pub.
Therese has warmly welcomed the measures set out in today's Budget to help our high streets. This afternoon in Parliament the Chancellor announced he will knock a third off the business rates of pubs, shops, restaurants and cafes that have a rateable value of up £51,000 for the next two years.
Therese said: "This is a very welcome announcement for our small and independent high street traders along the Suffolk Coast. This rate relief of £900M is a big investment in the future of our high streets."
Therese added: "I have continued to highlight the challenges of business rates, particularly for small independent stores and leisure providers. After meetings last year with the Chancellor that helped generate the £300m business rates relief fund which councils could use to help local businesses, I'm delighted that the Chancellor continues to listen to the voices of Suffolk Coastal businesses."
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