Chancellor Philip Hammond is considering abandoning plans to increase business rates by 3.9% next April.
The Chancellor has indicated he is prepared to listen to the concerns of business groups, The Sunday Times reported. The change may be made in this month’s Budget.
Business rates rises are set according to the August Retail Price Index (RPI) rate of inflation.
However, Government sources have said that the alternative, lower, Consumer Prices Index (CPI) may be used instead. According to that measurement, inflation was 3%.
The Chancellor is keen to show business leaders that he is listening to their concerns after a negative reaction to his speech at the Conservative Party conference.
A source told the newspaper: “Since conference we’ve made a huge effort to engage. Business rates are due to uprate by 3.9% through RPI next spring.
“The concerns of the business lobby have been heard. We are considering options that include uprating to a lower rate like CPI. This is very much at the forefront of our thoughts.”
The olive branch comes amid ongoing Brexit negotiations and Hammond is determined to do as much as possible to maintain business confidence.
The source said: “We need to be very careful about rocking the boat with international business sentiment.”
The Budget will be unveiled on November 22.