A&S Self Storage Ltd is a small family run storage business in the constituency. Owners George and Diana Pelly came to me recently setting out the problem their industry is having due to reforms to the tax laws. In the Finance Bill debate today I raised the problem with the Treasury team;
In my constituency is A and S Self Storage, run by Diana and George Pelly, which is a small family-run storage business.
The mischief that the new schedule seeks to attack is the business whereby big companies exercise the option to tax on a piece of land, build a storage facility and later disapply the option to tax, giving themselves a tax advantage. The Treasury have applied VAT on all self-storage and my concern is that some 250,000 people in the UK use self-storage and will find from September onwards that their bills will suddenly go up by 20%. I hope that the Government will consider this a little further and think whether there is a better way to deal with the real mischief, which is the abuse of the option to tax.
My other concern is that the revenue raised will disproportionately benefit larger businesses that can claim back costs under the capital goods scheme, rather than the smaller businesses, which cannot. Effectively, it will disproportionately benefit the four big players in the self-storage industry at the expense of smaller businesses such as A and S Self Storage. I hope that Ministers will consider that point.
Charlie Elphicke made a point about the capital goods scheme... I confirm to the House that we are making a separate provision by statutory instrument to amend the capital goods scheme so that self-storage providers affected by the measure and whose individual capital items are worth less than the £250,000 threshold for the scheme can opt in to the scheme and have the same input tax recovery benefits as larger providers with capital items that would already qualify for it.
This shows that the Treasury is listening to the industry's concerns, and I have continued to press them since this to ensure that smaller businesses are not disadvantaged.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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