Stephen Kinnock (Aberavon) (Lab):  My hon. Friend mentioned business rates. As we know, the lack of investment in machinery and technology is a major reason for the United Kingdom’s productivity crisis. The steelworks at Port Talbot in my constituency invested £185 million in a new blast furnace, which led to a £400,000 increase in business rates. Does he agree that we need to have a business rates holiday until the review is completed at the end of 2015? It is urgent that we increase competitiveness and productivity.

Tom Blenkinsop: I thank my hon. Friend for that question. He makes an excellent point. To encourage further investment, which we have seen in Port Talbot and across the steal industry in certain areas, we need a response from Government about business rates, so that there is no deterrent to further plant and infrastructure investment by the private sector.

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