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ALMR welcomes clarity on discretionary business rates relief scheme

Kate Nicholls

The ALMR has welcomed yesterday’s confirmation by the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid MP, that the forthcoming General Election will not delay payments from the discretionary business rates relief scheme.

Kate Nicholls, ALMR’s CEO said: “The unexpected General Election immediately raised questions about whether recently announced Budget measures, such as the discretionary relief scheme, would go ahead. Pubs and restaurants across the UK are suffering disproportionately under the new business rates bills, so the ALMR was prompt in calling for a continued commitment to pledges made in the Budget.

“It is reassuring that the Government has listened and acted, providing a measure of stability and certainty for our members.

“Discretionary relief payments cannot come soon enough for operators facing huge rates rises that threaten their businesses. We urge any of our members struggling with their rates bills to contact their local authorities to explore how to apply for relief payments.

“However, this relief is fire-fighting and the business rates system needs more fundamental reform. We strongly urge the post-election administration to honour the present Government’s commitment to a wider, wholesale reform of the business rates system, to level the playing field across industries, eradicating anomalies such as the hugely reduced share paid by online retailers.”