Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Business Tax Cut Could Be Great for Us, Says Sir John

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Business Tax Cut Could Be Great for Us, Says Sir John

Article excerpt

Byline: Hannah Graham Reporter hannah.graham@trinitymirror.com @HannaGraham21

NORTH East businesses are among those set to benefits from a major tax cut, Communities Secretary Sajid Javid has said. Speculation over a change to business rates, coming in April this year, has drawn complaints from some business owners who are worried they'll find themselves paying more.

But, while rates are set to go up in areas like London, businesses across the North will mostly see a fall in their costs.

Mr Javid said this would give the region "the edge" to drive growth for the rest of the country.

Latest figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show that firms in Newcastle are set to have their business rate bills cut by an average of 11%, one of the highest drops in the North.

Meanwhile, Durham-based businesses should see an average a 10% reduction.

The news was welcomed by North East property mogul and former Newcastle United owner Sir John Hall, who said such a cut would offer a "tremendous advantage" for small North East businesses.

Sir John, who masterminded the construction of the MetroCentre in the 1980s, said: "In the North East, most of our businesses are SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), they are the backbone of the region, and any increases in costs affect them badly.

"They are currently having to absorb the costs of an increased living wage and providing pensions for their staff - so if this does mean what it says, it is very, very good news for businesses in the North.

"This is marvellous news for small businesses."

Ross Smith, of the North East England Chamber of Commerce, said: "The reevaluation that's happening is, in general, good news for North East businesses. It doesn't mean that every single business will benefit but it is an overdue rebalancing of the burden of taxation between the South East and the North. …

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