Walker’s Budget breakthrough for business rate relief

Robin Walker, MP for Worcester, who has tirelessly campaigned for business rate relief and reform throughout both of his parliamentary terms, has welcomed the Chancellor’s major announcements in today’s Budget.

Following many meetings with Worcester’s business community and LEP, Robin took up the campaign again this Spring and wrote to the Chancellor ahead of the Budget to reiterate the case for supporting small businesses.

Prior to the Budget, Robin hosted a special briefing in Parliament the British Retail Consortium and major retailers including John Lewis and Asda so that they could brief MPs ahead of the budget on the strong case for business rates reform. He also recently spoke in the Westminster Hall debate on High Streets and make a number of interventions to support the case.

The Government has concluded the business rates review and announced it will cut the burden on ratepayers by £6.7billion over the next five years by cutting business rates for all properties and ensuring that the smallest businesses will pay no rates.

The Budget will cut business rates from next year for half of all properties from 1st April 2017. Key measures include:

  • Doubling the small business rate relief (SBRR) from 50% to 100% and increasing the thresholds to benefit a greater number of businesses: a property with a rateable value of £12,000 and below will receive a 100% relief.
  • Businesses with a rateable value of £12,000 and £15,000 will receive tapered relief. Therefore approximately 600,000 will pay no rates at all at a saving to their business of £5,900 on average for 2017 to 2018.
  • The threshold for standard business rates multiplier value will rise to £51,000 and therefore take 250,000 smaller properties out of the higher rate.

The Government will also introduce a business rate revaluation every three years and will publish a discussion paper later this month on how to achieve support for both businesses and the stability of local authority funding.

In the Budget, the Chancellor also announced that future business rates increases will be based on the consumer price index rather than the retail price index, intended to give more accurate rates bills for retailers.

Robin said:

“The increased small business rate relief threshold will be a welcome measure for local shops and businesses in Worcester. I am delighted with today’s announcement.”

“As a former member of the Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) Select Committee, I called Robin called for the BIS Select Committee’s report into High Streets and the Future of Retail in the last Parliament, and took part in the Inquiry and even held an evidence session in Worcester. I strongly supported the report’s call for a fundamental reform of business rates to help the high street and I have campaigned consistently to ease the burden of rates on small retailers, improve the valuation and appeals system and ensure that the burden shifts from shops on Britain’s High Streets.”

Notes to Editors:

For the BIS Select Committee Report to which Robin contributed see:

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201314/cmselect/cmbis/168/168.pdf

Further information on Robin’s work surrounding business rates see:

http://www.walker4worcester.com/?s=business+rates

To read the Business Rate Review:

https://www.gov.uk/government/speeches/a-wide-ranging-review-into-business-rates

To read the Budget in full:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/budget-2016-documents