Chancellor Philip Hammond unveiled his first and last Spring Budget yesterday, and, we are pleased to say, announced three key measures of support to alleviate the pain of the imminent Revaluation.
As the leading voice in the business rates debate, CVS business Rates was keen to learn whether the recommendations put forward in our recent meeting with the Rt. Hon Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, would be implemented.
We’re delighted to say they certainly have.
During the meeting CVS presented three main recommendations to the Secretary of State:
- Help those 25,000 small firms exiting small business rate relief after 7 years, and provide protection – protection which the current transitional relief scheme fails to offer
- Provide a business rates discount for pubs – over 11,000 public houses have sadly closed their doors during the current rating period
- Offer a discount to small high street shops unfairly treated when it comes to business rates, especially when compared to many out of town retail giants
Pleasingly the Chancellor has adopted the following points:
- A cap resulting in business rates rising by no more than £50 a month for small businesses who are losing their small business rate relief as a result of their RV increasing above the threshold
- Public Houses to receive a £1,000 discount on business rates if the RV is less than £100,000– equating to 90% of pubs
- A £300m fund for discretionary relief for local authorities to support the most affected businesses
The above amounts to a £435m package of relief for businesses.
We would like to thank the Chancellor and Secretary of State, who have clearly demonstrated that they have listened to the concerns of business and, more importantly, have acted upon those concerns with meaningful financial support.
Longer Term Reform
Notwithstanding the positive changes above, CVS is not entirely satisfied as the package does not offer much support for those businesses with higher rateable values. Given the issues we have highlighted with the tax reductions for large distribution centres, and the dismay and deep concern that this has caused, meaningful discussions must now be had around the tax system as a whole to ensure that it is fit for purpose for the 21st century economy.
It remains our opinion that a long term reform of business rates is required to make the system more responsive and fair. It is essential that business rates are not perceived as ‘anti-business’ but rather as a key funding element for local services.