Treasury asks EU to suspend state aid rules to fund business rates holiday

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// Government asks EU to suspend state aid rules to help fund 1 year business rates holiday
// The rules ban MPs from handing over more than €200,000 (£185,000) to each business
// Councils informed that they should assume the European Commission will grant the move

The government has reportedly asked the EU to suspend state aid rules that ban MPs from handing over more than €200,000 (£185,000) to each business.

According to the PA news agency, a government source has said that Treasury officials notified the European Commission of their intention to “disapply rules appertaining to state aid as they expect approval to be granted”.

Councils have also been reportedly informed that they should assume the commission will grant the move and can begin informing businesses from which they collect rates.


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The move comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a one-year business rates holiday for all retailers, pubs, bars and commercial properties adversely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, after Sunak’s announcement some retailers questioned how the payment holiday would work in practice.

Robert Hayton, head of UK business rates at the real estate advisory firm Altus Group, said the decision would be hugely helpful for businesses.

“It is a huge relief to see that the Chancellor has moved so quickly to mitigate the economic impact of Covid-19 and, by removing the de minimis regulation limit, it brings immediate certainty to the finances of those sectors most affected,” he said.

“All companies, irrespective of the size of their estates, benefit in full from the enhanced exemptions.”

The support, thought to be about £20 billion, is aimed at helping the most-affected businesses manage their cashflow through this period.

In addition to the 100 per cent rates cut for 12 months, grants to small businesses eligible for small business rate relief is up from £3,000 to £10,000.

Further funds of £25,000 grants to retail, hospitality and leisure businesses operating from smaller premises, will also be available.

with PA Wires

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