Enterprise Zone for Dewsbury - Paula to hold Chancellor to his promise.


Dewsburycentresmall.jpgEnterprise 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.” 

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  • commented 2016-02-17 16:17:37 +0000
    Hi Paula.

    Read the piece in The Reporter recently where you take the chancellor to task: “279 days later, no enterprise zone has appeared”.

    As a stick to beat the Tories with, it’s as good as any other.

    Problem is, any enterprise zone is unlikely to have any appreciable positive effect in the local economy.

    It’s official, but not widely trumpeted.

    HM treasury and HM revenue commissioned a study by Cambridge Econometrics with the grand title "The Relationship between National Non-Domestic Rates and Rents on Commercial Property: Empirical Evidence from Enterprise Zones

    Quoting from the executive summary:

    “The main conclusion is that 100% of the benefits from National Non Domestic Rates
    (aka Business Rates) relief are passed into rents and therefore accrue to landlords,
    although the range of uncertainty surrounding this statistical estimate1 puts the
    boundary at somewhere between 65% and 150%. Either way, the general conclusion is that
    the majority of tax-saving benefits from NNDR exemption on EZs accrued to landlords
    rather than to tenants.”

    (Full report here: http://webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20090211195642/http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/research/report42.pdf)

    So he’s broken a promise on something that was unlikely to be of any benefit. Unless you’re a landlord ;-)