This week’s announcement over the localisation of business rates has been broadly welcomed by the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).
Director General David Frost called the Government’s plans to allow councils to retain business rates a “step in the right direction”.
He said: “Giving councils the freedom to lower rates will help them attract thriving businesses to their areas, which in turn will boost enterprise and growth.
“However, this must not be used as an opportunity to increase rates, which could see us return to the days of councils using rates to subsidise lower council taxes.
“A national cap must be implemented to prevent the system from being misused, and firms must be reassured that business rates will not be set above the current uniform rate.
“Retaining business rate revenues will promote a pro-growth and pro-business attitude among councils.”
Richard Glover, chief executive of Cornwall Chamber, agreed that the proposals were welcome.
He commented: “If this offers an incentive to all local authorities to support investment in growing business, wealth and jobs then it could well be a good thing – provided it isn’t seen as a way of offsetting general taxation through council tax.
“There are some interesting ideas around for how Cornwall might use increased investment and this proposal could further strengthen private sector involvement in those plans.”