To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the combined financial effect on (a) small and (b) all businesses of government policy on business rates (i) in cash terms and (ii) in real terms since May 2010.
26 January 2015
To help support businesses and create jobs, the government has taken action to reduce the burden of business rates on ratepayers in every year from 2010-11 to 2015-16.
The total cost of these measures has been £4.1bn over this Parliament. This is a total of £4.2bn in real terms, based on 2014-15 prices.
Of this, the government has spent £2bn on reducing bills for small businesses through the doubling of Small Business Rate Relief. As a result, all businesses occupying a single property with a rateable value of less than £6000 have been fully exempt from business rates since October 2010.
In 2015-16 alone, ratepayers will save £1.6bn on their business rates bills. This includes 575,000 small businesses, of whom 385,000 will pay no rates at all.
The government has also changed the law to allow business rates bills to be spread over 12 months rather than 10 months, to help with cash flow and affordability.