Paul Easton, Head of Business Rates at Lambert Smith Hampton, said: “As expected the Chancellor has extended the small business rates relief scheme so businesses occupying properties with a rateable value of below £12,000 will have no business rates liability.
"This will be a very popular change by government. This is from April 1st 2017, more than 600,000 small businesses will pay no business rates at all and a further 250,000 will have their bills reduced because of further reductions between £12,000 and £15,000. The lower multiplier threshold has also been increased from £18,000 to £51,000. This means that over half of all business rates payers will see a welcome change to their business rates bills.
“The use of RPI to calculate annual increases in the multiplier will be changed to CPI from 2020. There has been a call for this for many years. More frequent revaluations will be introduced, possibly three yearly and another discussion paper will be announced this month. No clue yet as to whether this will be from 2020 or 2022, the end of the planned five year revaluation from 2017.
“Many of these announcements were expected, but it will be the taking out of rate payments altogether for small business permanently that is most welcomed. The other changes are for the future.”