With Small Business Saturday approaching on December 7th there was good news for local traders in Chancellor George Osborne’s Autumn Statement:
- A new discount of £1,000 on business rates bills for two years will be introduced for retail premises with a rateable value of up to £50,000 to help businesses on the high street. This includes pubs, cafes and restaurants. For those facing bills lower than £1,000, they will pay no rates at all.
- Business rates were due to increase by 3.2 per cent in 2014/15, but the increase in the bills has now been capped at two per cent.
- The Small Business Rate Relief scheme, which has already been doubled and extended, will now run until April 2015.
- A new reoccupation relief will see businesses that set up in retail premises that have been empty for a year or more receive a 50 per cent discount on their rates bill for 18 months.
The Autumn Statement also announced:
- Next year’s fuel duty rise will be cancelled, and as a result petrol will be 20ppl less than under the previous Government’s plans.
- Employers’ National Insurance Contributions will be wiped out altogether for young people under the age of 21. The cost of employing an under-21 year old on £12,000 a year will fall by over £500, or for someone on £16,000 by over £1,000.
The Chancellor’s statement included our steps to reduce borrowing, bring welfare spending under control, and invest in infrastructure and apprenticeships. The Chancellor’s speech can be read in full on www.gov.uk, as can the Autumn Statement document.