Budget Reaction: ACS Welcomes Increase in Small Business Rate Relief

ACS has welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement that the small business rate relief threshold will be raised to £15,000 rateable value from £6,000.

In the Budget, the Chancellor also announced that from 2020, future business rates increases will be based on CPI rather than RPI, which should lead to less steep increases in rates bills for retailers.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The increased small business rate relief threshold will be a welcome measure for thousands of local shops who are facing rising costs in other areas of their business. This measure will also significantly reduce the burden on the VOA, as more stores are taken out of paying rates altogether.

“We welcome the move from RPI to CPI for annual business rate increases but urge the Chancellor to cap rates increases in line with the Government’s 2% inflation target”.

The Chancellor also announced in the Budget that a levy on soft drinks with over 5g of sugar per 100ml would be introduced in 2018 with an exemption for fruit juices. Soft drinks with over 8g of sugar per 100ml will be subject to a higher rate.

Mr Lowman said: “Soft drinks make up 6.6% of convenience stores’ sales, and shoppers now have a wide choice of full sugar, low sugar and no sugar soft drinks when they visit any local shop. The Chancellor’s new levy on soft drinks companies would have been better considered as part of an holistic strategy to tackle obesity.”

On tobacco duty, the Chancellor confirmed that rates will continue to rise by 2% above inflation. The Chancellor also spoke of renewed measures to tackle the illicit trade.

Mr Lowman said: “The illicit trade is a significant burden on the public finances, costing the Treasury over £1.3bn last year alone. We welcome the Chancellor’s focus on tackling this criminal activity, but it must be backed up with decisive local enforcement action.”

This entry was posted by Chris on Wed, 16/03/2016 - 13:16