25 March 2016, 12:27 PM
  • The Government has announced England's largest ever business rate cut for all ratepayers, worth a total of £6.7bn over the next five years
Budget 2016: Extra Support for Small Businesses

It plans to permanently double Small Business Rate Relief (from 50 per cent to 100 per cent) as well as increase the thresholds to benefit a greater number of businesses.

The cuts mean that 600,000 of the country’s smallest businesses will no longer have to pay business rates, businesses with a property with a rateable value of £12,000 and under will receive 100 per cent relief, and businesses with a rateable value between £12,000 and £15,000 will receive tapered relief.

Meurig Raymond, president of NFU said, “I had really hoped that the Chancellor would have recognised by now that all parts of the economy should benefit from tax simplification, as it is there is little support for capital investment on farm for buildings and reservoirs.”

“Significant falls in farm income, driven by world commodity markets, can be observed across almost all sectors. Average dairy farm incomes are forecast to fall by almost half 50 per cent for 2015/2016, whilst arable incomes are expected to be down by almost a quarter. It’s particularly disappointing that the Chancellor has announced nothing to help mitigate the additional costs and pace of introducing the national living wage from April this year.

“We also welcome the announcement of a permanent increase in small business rate relief from £6,000 to £15,000 meaning that 600,000 small businesses will no longer pay business rates. This is welcome news for farmers with diversified enterprises.

James Lowman, chief executive of ACS said, “The Chancellor has rightly increased the thresholds for small business rate relief and the small business multiplier. We are continuing to talk to the Treasury about removing the smallest businesses from the process of being rated, which would bring huge savings to the VOA and rid the system of the endless appeals that currently tie up retailers, advisors, and the VOA for years after each valuation.

“We are interested to discuss with the Treasury their plans for replacing small business rate relief with an allowance, that could on the face of it help retailers operating in a number of different council areas. Sadly, we will have to wait four years for this to be introduced, which seems like an unnecessary delay.”

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