Changes to business rates announced ahead of the Budget

In a news story headlined as announcing a new ‘pubs relief’, the Treasury has also confirmed several key changes to business rates that were included in the Queen’s Speech on 19 December 2019.

The key points are:

  • From 2020/21, retail premises with a rateable value of up to £51,000 will receive a 50% discount on their rates bill. The existing business rates retail discount is being increased from one-third to 50% from 2020/21;
  • Music venues and cinemas will become eligible for the retail discount;
  • The £1,500 discount for local newspapers’ office space will be extended for a further five years;
  • A new £1,000 relief will be introduced for pubs with rateable value below £100,000 and will apply after and in addition to the retail discount; 
  • All reliefs will remain subject to State Aid limits, which limits the amount of support available to any business to €200,000 over a rolling three-year period.

The news story also highlights that details of a fundamental review of business rates will be published in due course.