Autumn Statement Reaction: Uncertainty Over Future of Business Rates

The Association of Convenience Stores has reacted to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, welcoming the extension of small business rate relief but raising concerns about business rates devolution and the lack of detail on overall rate reform.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s commitment to extending small business rate relief in 2016; this is a measure that helps businesses to the tune of over £1bn each year and is essential in giving local shops the opportunity to invest in their staff, property and services.

“We are however disappointed that no announcement has been made on the continuation of the business rates discount of £1,500 for high street retailers. We argued for the Government to increase this discount and if the Chancellor scraps it, it will hurt businesses coming to terms with increased wage costs and uncertain rates bills.

“We still have significant concerns about the devolution of rate setting powers to local authorities, given how little existing discretionary rate relief setting powers have been used to support businesses.

“We’ll have to wait for the Budget in 2016 for more details on the Government’s review of business rates. Businesses need certainty to be able to effectively plan for the future, and we urge the Chancellor to consult with businesses now as he develops these proposals.”

The full Autumn Statement and Spending Review document can be found here. 

This entry was posted by Chris on Wed, 25/11/2015 - 14:02