Andrew Tyrie has written to the chancellor for clarification on the controversial business rates revaluation.
Pressure is growing for a review on an upcoming business rates revaluation after Tyrie, chairman of the Treasury Select Committee, said the Committee will take evidence on the revaluation and its effects on the economy.
Many, including London mayor Sadiq Khan, have warned changes will lead to rocketing bill rises for some businesses.
The delay to business rates revaluations was bound to store up trouble. For businesses whose properties have increased disproportionately in value over the last seven years, the increases may be painful. There are two immediate concerns.
First, it would be concerning if, as a result of the revaluation, large, out-of-town premises are benefiting at the expense of small, high-street firms. I will be writing to the chancellor for the facts. Parliament needs to know the extent of this problem.
Secondly, the rise in the cap on annual increases for larger premises was both large and unexpected. The chancellor has rowed back a bit. But the cap on the relief is still high. I will ask the chancellor for the cost of restoring it to its previous level, and whether there is scope for more transitional relief.
The rates changes come into force on 1 April as a result of a revaluation of premises carried out by the government. That says three quarters of firms' rates will either decrease or stay the same.
Business rates, which are tied to the rental value of a property, have been revaluated for the first time in seven years. Taxes will surge for many businesses in London from 1 April, because rents have climbed so sharply over the intervening period.
An excerpt of Tyrie's letter to Philip Hammond: