Business rate “holidays” put forward as option by IoD

The Institute of Directors is the latest lobby group to jump on the business rates’ bandwagon with a call for the Government to offer “holidays” via relief schemes for expanding businesses.

In a bid to encourage entrepreneurism in growing companies, the organisation is asking the new Chancellor to consider allowing businesses to take a break from paying business rates when they expand, refurbish or relocate. It says the move would help provide a “vital uplift” to the UK economy as it leaves the EU, by aiding development.

This is the latest idea – which doesn’t seem to have been costed publicly – to come from the powerful industry lobbyists, following the CBI director general Carolyn Fairbairn’s letter asking for a raft of business rate reforms to be included in the next Budget.

The IoD is also calling for measures to support growing businesses outside London and the South East which may well appeal to Boris in his bid to deliver on more economic support to his new blue-collar constituencies in the north and midlands.

Tej Parikh, chief economist at the IoD added investment in new and growing firms is key but “sky high” business rates, hefty regulation, and the wider complexity of the tax system were all hindering growing firms.

As the new Chancellor Rishi Sunak gets his feet under the table and starts to weigh up the economic options before March 11, it will be interesting to see if business rates do make it in the famous red budget box, or if the Government feels it has done enough with the new reliefs coming into play in April to kick this can of worms further down the road