8th March 2017
Business rates relief measures fall short of the mark, says Alder King
The Chancellor’s three measures announced in today’s Budget to alleviate the burden of higher business rates will have left many businesses frustrated and disappointed, say business rates experts at Alder King.
Despite a high profile campaign leading up the Budget urging reform, many businesses will still have to shoulder what are in some cases extremely hefty rate increases once the revaluation comes into effect on 1 April.
“The reliefs announced by the Chancellor totalling £435 million, while welcome, are a drop in the ocean compared to the £25 billion a year that is raised through business rates,” says Alder King partner Alan Morrish.
“The Chancellor has made a token effort but quite frankly has fallen short of the mark.
“The transitional relief measures include limiting any increases for small businesses with just one property to £50 a month, which is of course good news.
“Pubs will receive some extra help, with a £1,000 discount on their bill but for one year only. Even so many pubs will still face dramatic increases from next month. For example one pub in Gloucester will see its rates bill increase by £22,000 per annum this year and by a further £25,000 per annum next year.
“The Chancellor announced a £300 million hardship fund to be administered by local councils but this will add another administrative burden for both councils and businesses. These measures are, as other commentators have said, simply a sticking plaster on a chronically ill patient.
“The Government has yet to announce its feedback on the recent business rates consultation process which closed last September and we hope this will feature in the Autumn 2017 Budget. It appears that the government is moving towards self-assessment on business rates and more frequent revaluations every three years rather than every five. This would be welcome, removing large variances in business rates obligations and giving businesses greater stability.”