Business rates (1)

MQT on 2018-11-22
Session date: 
November 22, 2018
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Will the business rate relief announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Budget, which means businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 and under will see their bill cut by a third over a two-year period, help London's businesses?


Business rates (1)

Business rates (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Any scheme to assist hard pressed businesses is welcome but yet again, as he did in his 2017 Budget, the Chancellor has announced another temporary sticking-plaster measure which fails to address the underlying problems inherent in the current business rates system. Due to the qualifying threshold the scheme will offer limited help to eligible businesses in central and inner London.


It is important to be clear that the business rates relief scheme announced in the Budget will only be available to a range of retail properties including, but not limited to, shops, restaurants, pubs, and hairdressers – it will not apply to all businesses. The Government estimates that 90% of independent retail premises nationally will benefit but the percentage will be much lower in central and inner London due to the £51,000 rateable value qualification threshold. And due to state aid limits major high street, pub and restaurant chains which were very badly hit by the 2017 revaluation in London will not benefit at all.


It will be for individual London boroughs to award the relief in line with the parameters set by Government.


What businesses in London need is a fundamental review of the business rates system – similar to the Barclay review north of the border – not more short-term fixes alongside devolution of the tax to London government so that we can design a property tax that reflects the capital’s unique circumstances and higher rents.