The Chancellor has just delivered his Budget speech, where many business owners awaited news relating to business rates – an area which greatly affects retailers with bricks and mortar stores.
Phil Mullis, Head of Retail and Wholesale and Partner at Wilkins Kennedy, commented:
“Business rates have been a sore point for a long time. The Chancellor has admitted that there is no appetite to abolish business rates, particularly when they make around £25bn for the Treasury every year. However, the Chancellor did say there is scope to review the revaluation process and consult on this before the next revaluation is due. Then again, saying is one thing, doing is another.
The Chancellor has introduced a £1,000 relief to the pub trade, for those with a rateable value of £100,000 or less. Whilst the relief will be most welcome, it depends how much they have been increased in the first place to warrant the relief to be beneficial. There is still a long way to go.
“It was disappointing to see that there was absolutely no reference to how the Government plans to bring business rates in line with the discrepancy between those charged to bricks and mortar retailers and those to online. This is a major area in need of addressing, but first, there needs to be an urgent overhaul throughout.”