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Philip Hammond’s business rates reform measures are a ‘damp squib’

LSH’s National Head of Business Rates, Paul Easton, provides his opinion on the Spring Budget.

Reacting to the Chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement of his three-point package of reforms in his Budget for 2017, Paul said: “There have been increasingly loud calls in the press for the Chancellor to help businesses and protect them from business rates increases due to the 2017 revaluation. Listening and responding he announced that small businesses will benefit from this budget, but the measures he has announced are a bit of a damp squib.

“As expected, there will be some additional relief for small business moving out of the Small Business Rates Relief scheme due to the revaluation by capping increases next year to a maximum of £600.  Only local pubs will benefit from sector-specific relief of £1,000 in 2017 where their rateable value is less than £100,000. This will account for 90% of local pubs.

“Finally, he announced a £300m fund to local authorities to deal with hardship cases, the details of which are yet to be worked out. The Government is also considering business rates and internet businesses and will consult on this is due course.

“These measures are certainly welcome but there’s no help for many businesses facing big increases in their business rates. Nor any help for those who were hoping for reduced rates bills over and above what we already know. The pain will continue.”

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