LETTER: There will be no more oak trees!

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Once again we are treated to headline grabbing rhetoric on corporation tax that does nothing to recognise the risk/reward profile for local entrepreneurs.

Successive governments have failed to grasp the acorn to oak tree analogy! There must be hundreds of thousands of SME’s throughout the UK, where owners have seen a steady erosion of the incentive to create new local businesses that will become the lifeblood of local communities.

It is not just corporation tax that is the issue, but the whole gamut of personal taxation and direct and indirect taxation that must be addressed holistically.

We are a family business in East Sussex running two very successful food-led pubs, our contribution to the local economy, by employment and government, by taxation is considerable. We have just received notification of the new Gross Rateable Values for our business rates - one pub is listed with an 80 per cent increase over the 2010 valuation, whilst the other shows a fivefold increase to £155,000!

Where is the incentive to generate wealth in the community when faced with such swingeing increases, even if there is any transitional relief, because the damage will already have been done by the re-valuation? If this pattern is repeated through our High Streets, what will happen to our local economy? Without a step change in the risk/reward ratio for local entrepreneurs there will be no more oak trees!

Ian Ridley

Egles Grove, Uckfield