Chancellor Philip Hammond has hinted that the Government will look to overhaul the business rates process, as he outlined several measures to help small businesses during today’s Budget.
Ahead of the Budget, retailers demanded a level playing field and urged the government to reform business rates.
The change in business rates takes place from 1 April, with the Government adjusting the value of business rates to reflect changes in the property market.
Hammond said that while the Government “cannot abolish” business rates as “some suggested”, he said there was “scope to reform the revaluation process to make it more frequent and smoother”.
He said the Government would set out the “preferred approach in due course and will consult on it before the next revaluation is due.”
The Chancellor outlined three measures to ease the burden of business rates, resulting in a further £435m cut for businesses.
These include ensuring that any business losing their small business rate relief will only see their bill rise by less than £50 a month, 90% of local pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 will receive a £1,000 discount on their bill, and local authorities will have access to a £300m fund to help harder-hit small businesses.
Hammond said corporation tax would fall to 17% by 2020. “Britain is open for business,” he declared. “I am listening to the voice of business.”
The Chancellor also pledged to find a “better way” of taxing the digital sector, while he also reaffirmed plans for the national living wage to increase to £7.50 in April.
He also announced that the threshold for personal allowance will rise to £11,500, while the higher rate will rise to £45,000.
Inflation is set to reach 2.4% this year, and fall to 2.3% next year.