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 Ministers expected to soften business rates impact

The Guardian reports that ministers are likely to take steps to ameliorate the impact on companies hit hardest by the shake-up in business rates. Communities secretary Sajid Javid is expected to announce today that he will take action to soften its implementation. Furthermore, the chancellor is now likely to use next month’s Budget to lengthen the transitional period for companies that will face an increase in rates. However, it has emerged small firms could face a further 8% rise in business rates in two years" time, as new legislation will give elected Mayors the power to apply business rate "supplements" from April 2019. Writing in the Telegraph, Sam Bowman, executive director of the Adam Smith Institute, says the government should push ahead with its revaluation – “or replace rates altogether with something politically easier to manage.” Meanwhile, David Smith in the Times suggests that a tax that leads to “increases that threaten the survival of those it is imposed on, is a tax that clearly does not work.”

The Guardian (22/02/2017)   

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