Government fights back against anger over business rates with 'the facts'

Government fights back against anger over business rates with 'the facts'

Posted: Fri 17th Feb 2017

As pressure mounts on the government over forthcoming changes to business rates, ministers will respond with a statement which it calls 'business rates re-valuation: the facts".

Business groups and entrepreneurs have slammed April's update of rates claiming than hundreds of thousands of companies face big increases in their bills and many of them will be small, independent firms.

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has also been criticised for remaining on holiday during the furore. But his department has today released a statement responding to the claims.

Here is the government's defence of the changes:

The next business rates revaluation takes effect from 1 April 2017

The government is regularly required to update the 'rateable values' of business properties in England to make sure that they are paying the right amount of rates.

Alongside this we're introducing the biggest ever cut in business rates, a £6.7bn package over the next five years.

This is about making business rates fairer

The revaluation will make the system more accurate by ensuring business rates bills reflect the property market.

Nearly three-quarters of businesses will see no change or a fall in their bills from 1 April 2017 thanks to the business rates revaluation, with 600,000 businesses set to pay no business rates at all.

The government will not benefit financially from the revaluation; it is a revenue neutral process.

In addition, from April 2020 business rates will switch from being linked to the Retail Price Index (RPI) to the Consumer Price Index (CPI), saving businesses around £370m in total from 2020-21.

The government is providing £3.6bn directly to businesses to help with the revaluation

The transitional relief scheme will support ratepayers by capping and phasing in any rise in bills.

600,000 small business will pay no business rates at all

As part of the £6.7bn package of business rates cuts over the next five years, the government has permanently doubled Small Business Rate Relief.

Eligible properties with a rateable value of £12,000 and below will receive 100% relief.

Eligible properties with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 will also benefit from business rates relief, offering significant reductions on their business rates bills.

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