Christmas cheer for small independents in Queen’s Speech
Small independents are one of the first winners in The Queen’s Speech today, after it confirmed help for them through a business rates cut.
A 50% business rate discount for small firms for one year was announced, that also covers independent cinemas, music venues and pubs. Music venues owners and publicans have been particularly vociferous in their protests against crippling business rates over recent years so they can at least claim a partial victory.
Measures are also being introduced to ensure business rate payers in England have bills that are more accurately aligned with current property values through more frequent business rates revaluations.
This isn’t new news, but business rates revaluations will increase from five to every 3 years. The next revaluation will also be brought forward a year from 2022 to 2021.
Most of the above was due to be introduced via legislation before the General Election but didn’t make it through before the dissolution of the last Parliament.
One of the Conservative manifesto pledges was to further review Business Rates so we can expect additional scrutiny and then possible reform over the course of this Parliament.
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A new report endorsed by the CBI sets out 12 actions that, when combined, would save businesses around £21.8bn over five years.
The Welsh Government has launched a second consultation on business rates, this time looking at the legislative and practical application of its draft regulations.