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Chancellor announces business rates reforms

The Chancellor George Osborne announced a raft of business rates reforms designed to support the growth of small businesses during his 2014 Autumn Statement:

  • Small business rate relief
    Rate relief for small businesses will continue to be doubled to 100%. 
  • Cap on business rates rises
    Inflation-linked increases to business rates will be continue to be capped at 2%. 
  • A review into business rates
    The Chancellor announced that the government would launch a full review into the structure of business rates in 2015.
  • Business rates discount
    The discount on business rates for high street shops, pubs and cafes with a rateable value of £50,000 and below will be extended by 50% to £1,500 from 1 April 2015. 

Reaction from the business community

John Cridland, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said that the changes to business rates would be a "shot in the arm" for growing businesses.

John Allan, national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said:

"This urgent review of the business rate system is critical to supporting small businesses. The current system is out of date and needs to be put out to grass. It's complicated, opaque, regressive and unresponsive to changes in economic conditions."

Helen Dickinson, director general of the British Retail Consortium, praised the measures and said that they will be "of enormous help to those struggling to keep their businesses open on the high street."

Phil Orford, chief executive of the Forum of Private Business, said:

"Business rates have been an ongoing concern for a large number of our members, with 55% in a recent poll seeing this significant barrier to business growth. It is good to see that the Chancellor has agreed with our suggestions of short term measures to reduce the pain of excessive property taxation."

Contact us to discuss how the business rates changes will affect you.