Extend business rates relief now, Council tells Chancellor

Chancellor Rishi Sunak must commit as soon as possible to extending coronavirus business rates relief beyond April “to avoid needlessly putting jobs and businesses at risk”, Hackney Council has written in a letter to the Treasury.

The letter, from Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, Deputy Mayor Cllr Rebecca Rennison, and Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Planning, Culture and Inclusive Economy, sets out how business rates relief introduced in March last year is due to expire on 5 April – leaving business owners facing significant bills as they play their recovery from coronavirus.

Nearly 2,600 businesses in Hackney have claimed 100% relief this year – saving them an average of nearly £20,000 a year each. The Council will be required by law to send business rates bills for the next financial year next month unless the Government takes action now.

If you act now you can give our under-pressure businesses the certainty they need as they plan for the next financial year and their eventual recovery from the economic shocks of coronavirus.

While we know that you are planning to deliver a Budget on 3 March, businesses need this certainty now, and we urge you to commit to extending this relief as soon as possible. This will also avoid the unnecessary stress and distraction of councils issuing bills next month that will then need to be recalculated and amended following any measures you outline in March’s Budget.

Whether introducing mass testing, introducing lockdown measures or putting border restrictions in place, other Government departments have been too slow and too late throughout the response to the pandemic. 

We urge you to safeguard Hackney’s jobs and businesses by getting ahead of the game and take clear action now.
Mayor Glanville, Cllr Rennison and Cllr Nicholson in their letter to Mr Sunak