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Hammond to extend local newspaper business rate cut scheme

Philip HammondChancellor Philip Hammond has pledged to extend a business rate cut scheme for the local press which was launched in a bid to bring newspapers back to town centres.

Mr Hammond has announced the extension of the scheme, which offers a discount of £1,500 per office in England, for a further year.

Mr Hammond joked in the House of Commons he had been assured of a “warm welcome” for this afternoon’s Budget from the regional press, in contrast to “whatever the national press says”, as a result.

In doing so, he name checked Archant weekly the Royston Crow and independent title the Keswick Reminder.

The rate cut scheme was introduced by his predecessor George Osborne for an initial two-year period and took effect from April 2017.

The move followed a consultation carried out in 2015 which held out the prospect of a “temporary boost” for local newspapers as they adapted to structural change in the industry.

Mr Hammond told the House: “I will extend the £,1500 local newspaper discount for a further year.

“Whatever the national press says, I’ve been assured of a warm welcome for my Budget in the Royston Crow and the Keswick Reminder.”

6 comments

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  • October 30, 2018 at 8:05 am
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    The whole idea of offering a business rate discount to big businesses in the regional newspaper industry is laughable, these are the same businesses and boards who have run their companies into the ground by chasing unrealistic profits, under investing in the core business and cutting staff numbers down to unworkable levels over the past three to four years whilst still paying themselves huge salaries and bonuses.
    By all means give rate reductions to the new community publishers who are the ones providing the genuine local news and advertising services but not the big six groups whose decline was in many ways self inflicted.

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  • October 30, 2018 at 10:26 am
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    well, that’s the newspaper industry saved then. Well done Phil.

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  • October 30, 2018 at 10:33 am
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    While I welcome the idea in principle the amount on offer is a joke. What he should have done is to offer it to those in management who have no feel for a paper to get out and leave it to those who know more about the industry to be able to get on and run it well.

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  • October 30, 2018 at 11:13 am
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    A half hearted gesture in an attempt to curry favour but pointless and thriving good money after bad,better off giving much more to those ex regional press folk who are opening up local papers across the country and who need all the help and support they can get.

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  • October 30, 2018 at 6:17 pm
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    A £1,500 discount to the publishing groups who’ll receive it is a drop in the ocean compared to the losses they’re accruing week after week and the level of expenditure they write off in expenses and add ons for managers.
    I agree, the ones who need it are those new publishers who have picked up the pieces left behind by the big groups who abandoned communities in their quest for on line riches, and who are gaining momentum by giving local people the level and depth of news the others no longer offer or can compete with.
    This is a hollow gesture which will make no difference to the industry’s future and shows just how out of touch the government are to the real reasons for the huge decline in the regional press in this country, reasons a £1,500 rate cut will not remedy.

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