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Mayor responds to Business Rates announcements in Budget

In yesterday's Budget Chancellor Philip Hammond announced three measures to help mitigate the impact on businesses which have seen a large increase in their rateable value and so face significant increases in their Business Rates. Compounding this is that many small business will no longer qualify for rates relief. 

The policies are:

  • Support for small businesses losing Small Business Rate Relief to limit increases in their bills to the greater of £600 or the real terms transitional relief cap for small businesses each year.
  • Providing English local authorities with funding to support £300 million of discretionary relief, to allow them to provide support to individual hard cases in their local area.
  • The government to introduce a £1,000 business rate discount for public houses with a rateable value of up to £100,000, subject to state aid limits for businesses with multiple properties, for one year from 1 April 2017.

The measures followed widespread concern about the impact of the new valuations on  businesses and local communities, including from the Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville, who handed in a 10,500-strong petition to Downing Street on Tuesdsay.

Our petition called for extra rates relief for small businesses and a commitment to devolving the Business Rates system in London. The Chancellor moved on both of these points and this should hopefully result in extra support for at least 500 business in Hackney. I would like to thank all those who signed our joint petition, gave evidence about the impact on local businesses and took part in the campaign. I have no doubt that these arguments have made a difference.

"It’s disappointing the Chancellor didn’t raise the threshold for rates relief in London. This could have made thousands of businesses which have been severely and disproportionately affected by the looming hikes feel more secure about their future.

“It’s not yet clear how meaningful the measures will be for the thousands of businesses which are facing huge rates hikes over the next five years, simply by virtue of their postcode and with no regard to their history, what they sell, who they serve and the impact on local communities. The detail and process of these polices need to be made clear immediately, so councils and local business can begin to properly plan.

“The extra money allocated to councils for discretional support will far from cover the spiralling bills in areas disproportionately affected like Hackney. We need clarity on how and when this funding will be available, and reassurances that it will be distributed fairly based on need.

“The commitment to long-term reform of the system and exploring devolution to London is welcome. The current system is outdated and not fit to deal with the complexities of the Capital.

Philip Glanville, Mayor of Hackney