Government promises industry help over business rates

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

Business rates help for hospitality businesses

Related tags: Business rates, Hotel, Business

The government has offered an olive branch to restaurants, pubs and hotels facing the ‘steepest increases’ in businesses rates this April.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid told MPs the chancellor would outline support for companies hit by rising bills in the 8 March Budget.

“It’s clear to me that more needs to be done to level the playing field and make the system fairer,” said Javid.

"There are clearly some individual businesses facing particular difficulties."

Business rates are being reassessed for the first time in seven years to bring them in to line with property values, with the changes set to come into force from April.

The Associated of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) welcomed Javid’s comments but said the hospitality sector was ‘uniquely disadvantaged’ by the current system.

“Overtures by the Minister to level the playing field are very welcome, but he must follow through with his statements and act decisively,” said ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls.

She added that the government needed to consider sector-specific relief for pubs and bars as well as a cap on rates bills going forward.

Earlier this week the Scottish government announced a 12.5% cap on increases to business rates​for hospitality companies for the coming year.

Related topics: Business & Legislation, Restaurant

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