Changes to business rates
Feb 07, 2020
Several key changes to business rates that were originally announced in the Queen’s speech, have now been confirmed by the Treasury.
The government’s recent announcement leads with the headline ‘Happy hour for pubs’, which are to benefit from a £1,000 business rates discount. This Pubs Relief actually forms part of a wider package of measures which is designed to support local high streets.
Increased rates discount for small shops
An extended rates discount is being applied to small independent shops and cafes. From April 2020, any retail premises with a rateable value up to £51,000 will receive a 50% discount on their rates bill– up from one-third. Music venues and cinemas will also become eligible for this retail discount. Meanwhile the £1,500 discount which is offered to local newspapers for their office space will be extended for a further five years.
This new £1,000 relief for pubs is applicable for small pubs with a rateable value below £100,000, and based on the number of claims made in 2017, in the region of 18,000 pubs are expected to qualify. Recent stats also show that the number of small pubs and bars in the UK actually rose last year. If a pub has a rateable value below £51,000 they will also be eligible for the extended retail discount, which will apply in addition to the £1,000 discount.
All these reliefs will remain subject to State Aid limits, which restrict the amount of support available to any business to €200,000 over a rolling three-year period.
The government has declared that it plans to launch a full review into business rates, and that further details will be announced in due course – so watch this space.
If you have any queries about the impact of business rates please get in touch with the PT team.