To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what estimate he has made of the number of small firms and shops likely to benefit from the planned reduction in business rates in (a) Herefordshire and (b) England in 2015-16.
16 March 2015
My rt. hon. Friend, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced at the 2014 Autumn Statement an extra £650 million of support for 2015-16 bills, bringing the total support of 2013 and 2014 Autumn Statement polices to £1.4 billion. This help includes:
- doubling small business rate relief for a further year. In England, this means an estimated 400,000 properties will pay no rates at all, while a further 200,000 properties will benefit from tapered relief;
- a 2% cap on the increase of the small business rates multiplier. This is a continuation of the 2% cap introduced in 2014-15 as part of Autumn Statement 2013 measures;
- increasing the temporary discount for shops, pubs and restaurants with rateable values below £50,000 from £1,000 to £1,500 for 2015-16, benefitting an estimated 200,000 properties in England; and
- extending the existing transitional relief scheme for two years for properties with a rateable value up to and including £50,000.
These measures are in addition to previous Autumn Statement measures that continue into 2015-16, including:
- a 50 per cent discount for 18 months to new occupants of vacant shops;
- allowing businesses to keep their small business rate relief for a year where they take on an additional property;
- business rates relief for empty new builds; and
- allowing businesses to pay their business rate bills over 12 months, in order to assist with their cash flow.
Central Government also now funds 50% of any local discount granted.
Table 1 (attached) shows the estimated number of properties in 2015-16 within the Herefordshire Council boundary that will benefit from business rates measures extended in this year’s autumn statement. Table 2 (attached) presents this information for England as a whole.