This year’s Autumn Statement contained several announcements concerning business rates, which will have a profound impact on ratepayers.
- Multipliers (Small Business and Standard)
For 2024/25, the small business multiplier in England is to be frozen for a fourth consecutive year at 49.9p. This measure is to be welcomed by small businesses and businesses with properties attracting rateable values (RVs) of less than £51,000.
In contrast, the standard business multiplier will be increased in-line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which rose by 6.7% in the 12 months to September 2023. This equates to an uprated standard multiplier of 54.6p. Naturally not good news for ratepayers with RVs of £51,000 or more.
- Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL) Relief
The scheme is to be extended for the new rate year (2024/25), and is set to provide eligible, occupied, retail and hospitality properties with a 75% relief, up to a cash cap limit of £110,000 per business. No doubt respite for some ratepayers in the retail sector, who continue to find trading conditions challenging post the pandemic.
Are these measures welcomed?
The government has announced these measures as ‘’a business rates support package worth £4.3 billion over the next five years to support small businesses and the high street.’’
There is no doubt the actions taken to freeze the small multiplier for a fourth consecutive year and to extend RHL relief will assist with the government’s stated aim to ensure that the "most vulnerable businesses continue to be supported."
On the other hand, the increase in the standard multiplier by the full rate of inflation after several years without increase will add a significant cost for many businesses from 1 April next year, which they can ill afford. Freezing the standard multiplier or making a modest uplift would have been far better received by businesses, allowing them to invest and contribute to the government’s aim of growing the economy, rather than increasing the tax burden even further.
For a detailed analysis of your 2023 rating list RV and rating advice, contact the business rates team.
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