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BUSINESS RATES: THE MYSTERY OF THE GOVERNMENT'S THUMBS DOWN

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The Deregulation Task Force - businessmen handpicked by the government and led by an ex-government minister - has r...
The Deregulation Task Force - businessmen handpicked by the government and led by an ex-government minister - has recommended that business rates should be handed back to local control.

But their views have been rejected out of hand by the government that appointed them, says the Association of Metropolitan Authorities.

AMA chairman Jeremy Beecham said:

'The task force is chaired by former treasury minister Francis Maude. It counts another ex-government - Michael Fallon - amongst its members. The group is packed with government-friendly business people. Yet when the task force says that the best for business is for Uniform Business Rate to be returned to local control the government rejects the idea out of hand. The rejection comes simultaneously with publication oft he task force report. It comes without a single word of justification or explanation and without even the merest nod in the direction of consultation.

'The task force's recommendation deserve better treatment. Local government has been arguing on similar lines for years. It is a move that would really transform the relationship between local authorities and their business community.'
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