Port businesses across the country have been finding a new lease of life since the Budget decision to waive and repay £175 million of unexpected backdated business rates demands.
Bob Neill went to Birkenhead docks in Liverpool where port companies have had total backdated demands of £12 million lifted.
The minister heard from a number of local companies, who told how their businesses had taken an upward turn. While 6 months ago many were facing contract losses and job cuts, they now have the confidence to invest and grow, taking on more people and buying new equipment and technology.
Bob Neill said:
“Britain’s ports, the backbone of our export industry, have had the heavy burden of unexpected tax debt lifted. It’s clear that that our swift action has saved many port-based businesses and jobs, and I’m glad to have heard their stories first hand.
“The Chancellor’s decision to waive and repay the unexpected rates bills for those affected port businesses is a victory for common sense. Companies like these across the country are now able to move forward confidently, unburdened by these unexpected debts.”
David Pendleton, Business Development Director of Mersey Maritme Limited said:
“We are very grateful to the minister and the government for introducing the moratorium so soon. A lot of very relieved businesses have had a significant cash flow burden lifted and, as well as safeguarding many thousands of private sector jobs, it is now helping to create new private sector jobs as these companies have the confidence to invest in the expansion of their plant and services.
“It is also very encouraging that the government is so committed to scrapping the backdated element completely and removing the problem once and for all. Discussions regarding this matter have been ongoing over the summer.”
More photographs of the visit are available from the DCLG Flickr channel