Plans revealed in today’s Queen’s speech to reform business rates have prompted disappointment because of their limited nature.

Boris Johnson’s new government pledged to “bring forward changes to business rates”. However, although the likely benefits to small businesses have been welcomed, the burden borne by big retailers will not be lightened.

The government is committed to increasing the retail discount from a third to 50% and is extending that discount to cinemas and music venues as well as small retailers.

It will also “progress legislation to bring forward the next business rates revaluation by one year from 2022 to 2021 and move business rates revaluations from a five-yearly cycle to a three-yearly cycle”.

This will “ensure that business rates bills are more up-to-date, reflecting properties’ current rental values”, while the revaluation change “will make the system more responsive to changing economic conditions”.

But head of business rates at Colliers International John Webber said: “The government’s recognition that they will commit to conducting a further review of business rates is good news as is the confirmation of the 2021 revaluation and a move to three-yearly revaluations.

“However, without further fundamental reform, and in particular an end to downwards transition, such changes will be meaningless in saving the high street.”

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “We welcome the continued commitment to a fundamental review of the business rates system and would like to see this formalised in the upcoming budget. It would do far more to help relieve struggling high streets and safeguard jobs and communities than short-term discounts which will only impact some businesses but not all.

”The retail rates discount is just another sticking plaster that ducks the real crisis facing high streets especially in vulnerable areas of England already suffering from years of economic decline and falling rents.

”However, it’s good to see the commitment to bring back the revaluation legislation that will help business’ rates bills more accurately reflect the rents they pay. This must be done urgently.”