// MPs approve bill that postpones next business rates revaluation until April 2023
// The bill also moves the latest date for publishing draft rating list from Sept 30 to Dec 31 in the year before the revaluation
// Plans to delay the business rates revaluation first emerged in May
MPs have approved a bill which postpones the next business rates revaluation for England and Wales until April 1, 2023.
The government first revealed plans to delay the revaluation in May and in July it confirmed it would postpone it until 2023, but MPs unanimously approved the Non-Domestic Rating (Lists) (No 2) Bill today.
The bill also moves the latest date for publishing the draft rating list from September 30 to December 31 in the year before the revaluation.
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Local Government Minister Luke Hall described the legislation as “important” and “common sense”.
Shadow communities secretary Steve Reed said that, while Labour supports the bill, there needed to be a wider reform of business rates.
He added there is an “unfair” geographical disparity in business rates across the UK.
Hall told MPs: “We are now familiar with the two improvements this bill makes to the business rates system.
“It moves the date for implementation of the next re-evaluation in England and Wales to 1 April 2023 and it also moves the latest date by which draft rateable values must be prepared in England and Wales to 31 December, preceding revaluation.”
He added: “We believe that this bill is an important, small bill.”
Reed said: “Business rates as currently set up do not fairly reflect the rental value of the premises they occupy and have created regional imbalances.
“There is a further and growing unfairness that sees retailers occupying shops in high streets pay far more in tax than online retailers – a situation that is disappointingly incentivising the decline of our high streets.”
He added: “The rates rise in the North and Midlands is almost 12.5 times greater than the rise in rental values, compared to just four times greater in the South.
“If the government is serious about levelling up, they need to address this anomaly.
“Getting the business rates system right is essential and should be seen as part of the support the Government must provide to businesses and local authorities to help the economy fully recover in the future.”
In July, the Treasury launched a Call for Evidence that seeks views on how the business rates system currently works, issues to be addressed, ideas for change and a number of alternative taxes.
with PA Wires