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Spring Budget 2024 – impact on your rates bill

Spring Budget 2024 – impact on your rates bill

The Chancellor released his Spring Budget on 6 March, making minimal mention of business rates. Here are several crucial aspects that could affect BALPPA members directly. 

  • Relief for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure
  • Rate demands for 2024/25


Relief for Retail, Hospitality and Leisure (RHL Relief) reconfirmed

During the 2023 Autumn Statement, the Chancellor recognised that sectors such as retail, hospitality and leisure are still facing challenges due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the cost-of-living crisis. Consequently, he announced the extension of the RHL Relief scheme in England for the 2024/25 rate year, maintaining the discount of 75% capped at £110,000 per business.

Following this, in December 2023, The Welsh Government declared that  RHL would continue in Wales for 2024/25  albeit at a reduced discount of 40%, also with a cap of £110,000 per business. In Scotland, a specific hospitality relief scheme will be available exclusively for Islands locations, offering a 100% discount, again subject to a cap of £110,000 per business.

These relief schemes are subject to the Minimal Financial Assistance thresholds stipulated by the Subsidy Control Act, ensuring that no beneficiary receives more than £315,000 over three years, including the current financial year and the two preceding years.


Rate demands for 2024/25 

UK local councils are in the process of sending out the rate demands for 2024/25, and businesses can anticipate receiving these soon. Despite the Consumer Price Index (CPI) showing a decline in inflation to 4%, and the government forecasting a further decrease to 2% later this year, the substantial 6.7% hike in England’s large Uniform Business Rate (UBR), which is linked to the CPI, remains unchanged.

We are currently working with clients to assess and identify opportunities to challenge their rate assessments and check the accuracy of billing. As an example, off the back of the BALPPA webinar we hosted in October covering business rates relating to UK leisure attractions, we were contacted by a family-owned attraction in Devon asking for a business rates review. We quickly identified an opportunity to overturn an official Valuation Office deadline to appeal, getting a backdated reduction to April 2017, resulting in a savings cheque back to the client only four months after they instructed us.

If you’re struggling with rising costs or have worries about the accuracy of your business rates, there’s no need to tackle this by yourself. Reach out to us for professional advice and assistance in managing and possibly reducing your business rate obligations. 

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