YEP wins praise after breakthrough on business rates

Martin Schneider, owner of Accent Clothing.
Martin Schneider, owner of Accent Clothing.
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The Yorkshire Evening Post has been praised for its campaigning after Chancellor George Osborne announced a fundamental review of business rates.

We recently joined forces with hundreds of our sister Johnston Press titles to call for a major overhaul of the controversial rates system as well as an immediate freeze in its charges.

More than 5,000 people signed a petition backing the campaign – and now the Chancellor has confirmed that a review WILL be carried out.

Although the rates have not been frozen, small retail businesses have seen the amount of discount that they can claim rise by 50 per cent.

A Government spokesman also confirmed that the review would be the most wide-ranging examination of the business rates system since it was designed in 1988.

Leading business rates reform crusader Paul Turner-Mitchell said: “The campaign has been heard at the doors of Westminster. You have highlighted the concerns of local people.”

Ashley Highfield, chief executive of Johnston Press, said: “As local media owners we have a duty to businesses – and the communities they serve – to ensure this remains on the news agenda if change is to happen.”

The campaign has won backing from Leeds MPs such as Rachel Reeves and Greg Mulholland as well as independent retailers like Martin Schneider, who runs Accent Clothing in the Queens Arcade.

Alex Newman, partner at Irwin Mitchell in Leeds

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