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Ministers consult on business rates rescue package

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The government has launched a consultation on how councils should design and implement support for business hit hardest by the rates revaluation.

Chancellor Philip Hammond announced a £300m programme of support in yesterday’s Budget and the Department for Communities & Local Government has set out allocations to each council.

These are around 20% of the gross 2017-18 bill increase for properties where the business rate bill is increasing by more than 12.5% and their rateable value is less than £200,000.

London boroughs take nine of the 10 highest allocations, the exception being Birmingham City Council.

The consultation paper stated: “It will be for billing authorities, in collaboration with other authorities operating within their area, to design their discretionary relief schemes and determine the eligibility of ratepayers for support.

“The schemes must clearly set out the criteria that ratepayers across the local authority area, or within specific locations within their areas need to meet in order to qualify for discretionary relief.”

Mr Hammond said in his Budget speech: “The revaluation has undoubtedly raised some hard cases, especially for those businesses coming out of small business relief.”

He said that in addition to the £300m fund, business coming out of small business rate relief would see their bill increase next year by a maximum of £50 a month, with subsequent increases capped at either the transitional relief cap or £50 a month, whichever is higher.

Pubs would enjoy a one-off £1,000 discount on business rate bills for 2017-18.



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