Business rate reliefs unveiled
A £435m package of business rate relief has been announced, including a £300m hardship fund to enable local authorities to offer discretionary relief to the worst-hit firms. Additionally, rate rises for businesses losing existing relief will be capped at £50 a month for five years. Meanwhile, every pub with a rateable value of less than £100,000 will receive a discount of £1,000 in 2017, a move affecting 90% of all pubs. Philip Hammond also suggested that online retailers could face new taxes in future to ease the burden of business rates on bricks and mortar retail outlets. However, business bodies offered a lukewarm reaction, with the BCC warning that "measures that mitigate the short-term impact of business rate rises are little more than a sticking plaster". Mike Cherry, chairman of the FSB, said business rates remained out of date and called for the creation of a simpler, fairer system. And Jerry Schurder, head of business rates at the property consultancy Gerald Eve said the plan for another consultation into more frequent revaluations was "timewasting of the highest order".
Source: The Times (09/03/2017)