Iain Stewart supports new legislation

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ONE of the city’s MPs has argued in support of legislation that will see Milton Keynes receiving a better deal on business rates than it currently does.

MP Iain Stewart was speaking in Parliament on Local Government Finance Bill.

The Bill will see local authorities keeping a greater share of the income they generate from business rates.

Under the current system, the city receives considerably less than it contributes to the coffers of central government. Figures for the current financial year indicate that Milton Keynes is forecast to receive just under £70 million despite having contributed £132.5 million in business rates.

The Milton Keynes South MP argued that the measures in this Bill, along with those introduced in the Localism Act 2011, would help the city become master of its own destiny and grow into what it wants to be.

Colin Fox, the new chief executive of Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce, has indicated that the measures on business rates are welcomed by the local business community, which wants to be a genuine partner of the local authority in boosting growth and developing the underpinning infrastructure for this.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Stewart said: “Milton Keynes loses out pretty badly under the current system. The history of Milton Keynes shows that we have not had our fair share of revenue allocation over the years at local government level and in the health service. I very much welcome the proposals that will give us that fair share.”