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Farron welcomes business rate review

March 17, 2015 11:12 AM

Tim in WestminsterSouth Lakes MP Tim Farron has welcomed the news that the government has launched the most wide-ranging review of national business rates in a generation - paving the way for changes to how businesses across England pay the tax. Tim has been calling for a review of business rates since 2013.

The review, set to report back by Budget 2016, will examine the structure of the current system which is paid annually on 1.8 million properties in England. The review will look at how businesses use property, what the UK can learn from other countries about local business taxes, and how we could modernise the system so it better reflects changes in the value of property.

Tim said: "Business people in the Lakes tell me that they want to see business rates made fairer. I have been determined to take this message to ministers and work to make this happen. I really welcome the news that the government have taken this on and will be reviewing business rates, this could really make a massive difference to businesses, especially small businesses in the Lakes."

Today's announcement follows the government's commitment in December 2014 to conduct a review of business rates and implement a £1 billion package to reduce the cost of business rates in 2015-16, with particular support for the smallest businesses and the high street.

From 1 April 2015 the government is:

  • increasing help for the high street: increasing the business rates discount for smaller retail premises with a rateable value of £50,000 or below to £1,500 to 31 March 2016, benefiting around 300,000 shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants
  • doubling small business rate relief for a further year to 31 March 2016 to provide support for 575,000 of the smallest businesses, and ensuring 385,000 small businesses pay no rates at all
  • capping the rise in the business rates multiplier at 2% to benefit all businesses
  • extending transitional rate relief to support 16,000 small business facing significant bill increases due to the ending of transitional rate relief