New research shows
The chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his first Spring Budget a £300m discretionary fund for businesses hit badly by the business rates revaluation shake-up.
The government published a consultation on how this relief fund should be divided up and how local authorities could exercise discretion in granting relief. The consultation closed on 7th April.
However, over the weekend, the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed that “the government has considered the responses to the consultation on the scheme announced at Spring Budget 2017 for discretionary business rates relief and determined that final allocations to local authorities will be made according to the draft allocations published as part of the consultation” meaning that “Councils are free to start using the scheme and helping local businesses.”
This announcement paves the way for over £124m to the 32 London Councils plus the City of London for distribution to businesses facing huge hikes in rates.
Westminster will enjoy the lion’s share of the relief across London, receiving almost £20m over the four years.
Kingston-upon-Thames will receive the lowest amount of relief- £721,000 in total.
Mark Rigby, chief executive of CVS Business Rent & Rates Specialists said: “I am heartened that the Department for Communities and Local Government have sought to clarify their stance over this important and much needed initiative and I would now urge Councils across London to expedite the distribution of this relief to those firms hardest hit by the Revaluation.
“Business rates bills have already been sent out and the first tax instalment has been collected, so it’s vital that available relief is granted to those who need it as urgently as possible.”
A DCLG Spokesman said:
“Councils should establish their own schemes to distribute funds to local firms and can claim the funding from DCLG as soon as their schemes are up and running.”