Government response

Business rate charges

Communities Minister Stephen Williams responds to claims in the Independent about business rate charges.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

stephen williams

Stephen Williams said:

The government has already capped the multiplier for 2014 to 2015 at below inflation - as part of a broader £1 billion package of tax cuts to business rates for local firms and local shops.

At each rates revaluation, the government is required by law to adjust the multiplier to reflect the cost of future appeals. This has been the case since 1990. The business rates revaluation process is designed to be revenue-neutral and not raise any extra money for the Exchequer.

Background

The government has done a great deal to help businesses - at the Autumn Statement the Chancellor announced a £1 billion package of measures to promote growth including:

  • a £1,000 discount in 2014 to 2015 and 2015 to 2016 for retail premises with a rateable value of up to £50,000 - including shops, pubs, cafes and restaurants
  • capping the Retail Price Index (RPI) increase in bills to 2% in 2014 to 2015 - businesses were expecting a 3.2% rise
  • extending the doubling of the Small Business Rates Relief to April 2015
  • allowing ratepayers receiving Small Business Rate Relief that take on an additional property to continue to receive their existing relief for 12 months
  • a reoccupation relief for 18 months with a 50% discount for new occupants of retail premises empty for a year or more
  • allowing businesses to pay their bills over 12 months (rather than 10), which will help every firm with their cash flow
Published 11 August 2014