// Queen’s Speech matches Conservative manifesto plans for retail business rate relief
// Tax break tax will be implemented across more than 400,000 retail properties which have a rateable value under £51,000
// BRC warns measures are “just another sticking plaster” in tackling issues facing the high street
The Queen’s Speech on Thursday detailed plans to increase the retail discount on rates from a third to 50 per cent.
That brings the discount up to £320 million for thousands of shops, pubs and restaurants across England and Wales in the hope of rescuing beleaguered high streets battling against store closures and administrations.
However, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) warned that the measure was merely “a sticking plaster” in tackling the real issues beneath business rates.
“We welcome the continued commitment to a fundamental review of the business rates system and would like to see this formalised in the upcoming Budget,” said BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson.
“It would do far more to help relieve struggling high streets and safeguard jobs and communities than short-term discounts which will only impact some businesses but not all.”
“The retail rates discount is just another sticking plaster that ducks the real crisis facing high streets especially in vulnerable areas of England already suffering from years of economic decline and falling rents.”
“However, it’s good to see the commitment to bring back the revaluation legislation that will help business’ rates bills more accurately reflect the rents they pay. This must be done urgently,” she added.
The tax break will be implemented across more than 400,000 retail properties which have a rateable value under £51,000.
The details from the Government are expected to be revealed more fully at the budget next year, alongside a review of the current rates regime.