In today’s Autumn Statement, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has unveiled a £13.6bn support package for businesses dealing with higher business rates bills, including freezing the business rates multiplier for another year, says commercial property agent Prop-Search.
Delivering his first Autumn Statement as Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt confirmed that the next revaluation of rates will go ahead in April 2023 – the first update to reflect changes in property values since the last revaluation in 2017. However, a warning was given that this could unfortunately result in increased costs due to inflation - so stated that - to help those facing higher bills, there will be support worth £13.6bn over the next five years.
Business rate multipliers will be frozen in 2023-24 at 49.9p for properties with rateable values under £51,000 and 51.2p for those over. This will give some protection to businesses from rising inflation, meaning that rates will no longer be hiked up in line with double-digit consumer prices inflation (CPI) from next April.
The Chancellor also unveiled a transitional relief scheme, which will cap rises caused by the increase in rateable value at the next update. The caps will be 5%, 15% and 30% for small, medium, and large properties respectively in 2023/24, and will be applied before any other reliefs or supplements.
Samantha Jones, an Associate Director of Prop-Search, said: “Mr Hunt said that he believes the move will benefit around 700,000 business and added that for businesses seeing lower bills as a result of the revaluation, the Government will make sure they benefit from the decrease in full and straight away by abolishing downwards transitional reliefs caps.”
“For those that that will lose their eligibility for either Small Business or Rural Rate Relief, a new Supporting Small Business Scheme has been introduced which will cap any increase to £50 per month.”
Finally, reliefs for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors will be extended and increased from 50% to 75% for up to £110,000 per business in 2023-24, with around 230,000 properties eligible to receive this support.
The Chancellor also confirmed the energy bills scheme will continue for a further 12 months from next April and stated that he will continue with plans to provide targeted energy support for vulnerable sectors like hospitality after April.