Government inquiry finds current business rates system not fit for purpose

6th Nov 2019


A House of Commons, Treasury Committee report; THE impact of business rates on business concludes that ‘HM Treasury needs to revise the business rates system and implement change to support and encourage investment by businesses.’ An outcome welcomed by the Energy and Utilities Alliance, EUA, Gas Storage Operators Group, GSOG, who have long campaigned for Government to take action to ensure UK gas security.

Mike Foster, Chief Executive of EUA said; 

“The findings of this report are a welcome recognition that the current business rates system is broken, inconsistent and ‘acts as an immediate significant disincentive to investment’. All points which EUA’s Gas Storage Operators Group have been conveying to Government for some time.”

 “Giving evidence at the inquiry in May of this year, EUA advised that Gas Storage operators and developers are currently considering various projects producing and storing hydrogen, a zero-carbon solution that could become a serious option to decarbonise the UK economy in the future. However, this would necessitate pilot projects to establish if they are feasible, which are not viable under the current business rates system.”

 “This contradicts wider Government policies such as reducing the UK’s carbon emissions through investment in greener technologies or improving productivity.”

 “Gas Storage plays a vital role in delivering energy security. Government must redesign the current business rates system to maintain gas storage viability in the UK, and ensure that the UK is an attractive destination for investment. Gas storage can and does make a significant contribution to achieving energy security by ensuring that gas supplies are maintained at times of major supply or demand shocks. It protects consumers from price spikes and reduces overall gas bills. “

 You can view the business rates inquiry report here.