Budget could and should have done more to support local businesses

Labour Councillors in Haringey are facing criticism after rejecting proposals to help local businesses struggling with the burden of Business Rates.

Opposition Liberal Democrats proposed an amendment to the borough’s annual budget providing £2.4 million for a Business Rates Credit Scheme. These would have provided targeted financial help to relieve the burden of business rates on small businesses in Haringey which open new premises or expand existing ones - or bring green jobs in environmentally friendly industries to the borough.

This would have been funded using money the Council currently spends on senior managers, personal assistants and hiring agency staff rather than cheaper full-time equivalents.

However, councillors from the ruling Labour Group voted down the amendment.

Cllr Paul Dennison, Haringey Lib Dem finance spokesperson, who proposed the amendment, comments that:

“As a former business owner myself, I know this sort of assistance is often gives entrepreneurs the boost they need to start-up or expand a small business.

“If you to go any high street in Haringey you can see how they are being hollowed out by business rates. It’s a shame Labour councillors prioritised retaining expensive managers over reviving empty shops and offices.”

The vote took place at a Full Council meeting on the evening of Monday, 24th May at Haringey Civic Centre.

A copy of the Lib Dem budget amendment can be seen in full at this link: https://www.minutes.haringey.gov.uk/documents/b24841/Budget%20Amendments%20-%20Liberal%20Democrat%20Group%2024th-Feb-2020%2019.30%20Full%20Council.pdf?T=9


Photo: Haringey Council

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