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Published on October 27th, 2021 | by The GC Team


Chancellor offers “some relief” on business rates

Headline news from today’s Budget will, for many High Street traders, be that Mr Sunak has announced a 50% rates discount for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors in England up to a maximum of £110,000, effective from 2022-23.

However, he confirmed that business rates are to be retained, but “reformed”, with more frequent (every 3 years) revaluations that may help ease pressure on those paying too much on their properties.

Also important to businesses of all sizes is that, as pump prices reach their highest for eight years, the planned rise in fuel duty has been cancelled.

High Street traders will have to wait, however, to see what a promised “consultation” on an online sales tax will produce. Isn’t that something that has already been going on for some time? In any case, experience suggests that consultations are generally slow, subject to powerful lobbying from international players, and may be lost in the mists of time before any meaningful measures can be implemented.

The 6.6% increase in the National Living Wage, to £9.50 an hour, already trailed by Downing Street in the run-up to this budget, may also have an impact on retail businesses, where many lower-paid jobs are available.

Home delivery company ParcelHero comments on issues specific to SMEs: “More frequent – 3 yearly – business rates revaluations could ease the burden for those companies paying too much on their properties. The 50% business rates reduction for retail and hospitality sector companies will be widely welcomed, though it is only scheduled to last one year. The cancellation of the planned rise in fuel duty will also keep costs down for SME retailers and businesses.”

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