Humberside

Diane Johnson says new rates would cost Hull millions

A Hull MP has told Parliament that the city would lose millions of pounds under a new system of business rates.

Diane Johnson, Labour MP for Hull North, claimed the city would lose £45m after one year of the proposed scheme.

The government says the changes would allow councils to keep more of the business money they raise locally.

And the Local Government Minister Bob Neill insisted cities like Hull would be better off than they were under the previous government.

Ms Johnson told the House of Commons: "Recent estimates show that after year one of the business rate reforms, Hull Council would lose up to £45.5m on top of the cuts already targeted.

"With already richer areas like the City of London and Westminster already benefiting at the expense of places like Hull, how does this policy rebalance the economy between the poorest and richest areas in the north and the south?"

In reply Mr Neill said: "Her city of Hull grew in excess of the national average over the last business rate valuation period, as did Manchester, as did Leeds, as did Durham and Stockton-on-Tees.

"They would have all gained under our proposal, they did not under the system her [Ms Johnson's] government operated."

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