Initial Budget comment by Stuart Hicks – Director.
Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced a handful of relief schemes for those hardest hit by increases in liability resulting from the 2017 Rating Revaluation. This amounts to an additional £435m in relief to that already provided by the transitional rates relief scheme. This includes:
- Support for businesses losing small business rates relief as a result of an increase in rateable value – a mandatory scheme.
- A £300m pot for Billing Authorities to grant discretionary relief to those hardest hit by increases in liability – usual discretionary rules apply.
- Pubs with rateable value of less than £100,000 to get a £1,000 discount on rates they pay – a mandatory scheme and similar to the old retail relief scheme.
So, there is a few hundred million to sprinkle around London and the South East but we still have to see fuller criteria for qualification for the hardship fund…
Interestingly, there is a recognition that the majority of the problems arise as a result of the delay in the revaluation with Government now clearly looking at delivering more frequent revaluations.