Enterprise Zone for Dewsbury - Paula to hold Chancellor to his promise.
A few days prior to the election the Chancellor, George Osborne promised to add Dewsbury to a list of Enterprise Zones within 100 days of the new Conservative government. Dewsbury becoming an Enterprise Zone means that new businesses and businesses that choose to move premises will be exempt from paying business rates for 5 years.
In a debate in the House of Commons on the 4th June, Dewsbury MP, Paula Sherriff raised the issue with the Leader of the House saying: “May I request a debate to address the promise made by the Chancellor just a few days prior to the election that constituencies such as my own—Dewsbury—will be identified as enterprise zones within 100 days of the new Parliament? Many businesses in my constituency are struggling significantly and would undoubtedly welcome a period of zero business rates.”
The Leader of the House, Chris Grayling responded: “Of course, we are not yet 100 days into the new Parliament. Nevertheless, I point out to her that Dewsbury, and indeed the whole area of west Yorkshire, has benefited enormously from the economic progress that we have made in recent years, with falling unemployment and more businesses being created. Of course there is further to go, but what we have seen is a real step in the right direction for the country and the area she now represents.”
Paula commented afterwards: “It would appear that the Leader of the House is confusing Dewsbury with somewhere else. He should come to my constituency and tell my constituents and the town’s businesses that they have “benefitted enormously from the economic progress made in recent years”.”
Paula added: “The Chancellor may be used to passing Dewsbury by over the last five years without so much as a whimper from my predecessor, but I can assure him that I won’t be waiting until the next general election to come banging on his door. I welcome the Chancellor’s last minute promise but I will hold him to account and ensure that he keeps to his word.”