Autumn Statement: 2014 business rate increase to be capped, while reform of system is on the agenda

The chancellor has announced a two per cent cap on business rate increases for next year and said reform of the system is on the agenda for the 2017 revaluation, with a discussion paper coming out in spring 2014.

Further help included the extension of small business rates relief, addressing the backlog in appeals, introducing reoccupation rates relief and a two-year discount of up to £1,000 for retailers with properties of less than £50,000 rateable value.

The chancellor also unveiled measures to abolish employer national insurance contributions for those under 21.

Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium director general, says: “The chancellor has recognised that businesses are suffering and is right to listen to retailers’ concerns on business rates.

“The BRC has campaigned for a two per cent cap and reform of the business rates system and it is extremely welcome to hear it announced.

“The Chancellor has recognised the consensus that exists that the business rates system should be reviewed.

“The BRC is already conducting a detailed study into options to improve the business rates system and looks forward to playing a full part in the discussions that will take place with government on the reform of the system.

“With the additional measures on national insurance, retailers will be encouraged to do even more to support the aspirations of young people across the country.

“40 per cent of all jobs for those under 20 are in retail and this will help retailers provide secure career opportunities for young people.”

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