Posted: 08/03/2017

Chancellor to help small retailers with £300m rate relief fund

Phillip Hammond
Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered the 2017 Budget on March 8

Retailer associations have welcomed £300m of discretionary business rates relief that chancellor Phillip Hammond announced in the Budget on March 8.

Chancellor Philip Hammond acknowledged that the 2017 business rates revaluation had “undoubtedly raised some hard cases,” especially for those businesses coming out of Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR).

Hammond promised any business coming out of SBRR would benefit from an additional cap.

He said: “No business losing small business relief will see their bill increase next year by more than £50 a month, and the subsequent increase will be capped at either the transitional relief cap or £50, a month, whichever is higher.”

He also undertook to provide local authorities with a £300m fund to deliver discretionary relief to target individual hard cases in their local areas.

Ken Parsons, chief executive of The Rural Shops Alliance (RSA), said: “The measures to help small businesses cope with the rates revaluation are welcome and will help a number of smaller retailers cope with the changes.

“We would particularly welcome the provision of funding to allow local authorities funds for discretionary relief. This is an area where recent squeezes on local authority budgets have led many to cut back considerably.”

Small shops trade group, the ACS, also backed the £300m discretionary rate relief scheme which it said could aid the hardest hit by business rates increases.

The chancellor also announced future plans to review the way that different business types have their rates bills calculated although he did not commit to a timescale beyond “before the next revaluation”.

This will disappoint many small business that have repeatedly called for a fundamental review of the rates system.

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