Bira calls on chancellor to bin rates reform Bill

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is urging the government to scrap plans to bring forward the next revaluation of business rates to April 1, 2021.

Bira has joined other heads of the retail sector in calling Chancellor Rishi Sunak to withdraw ‘disastrous’ legislation, due to be discussed today (Wednesday, April 29).

The Non-Domestic Rating (lists) Bill was introduced in the House of Lords by the Government on March 18, 2020, a day after the chancellor announced its £2bn package of financial coronavirus support including a year’s business rates holiday for retailers.

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However, with Royal Assent, the legislation would allow the government to set business rates bills for a minimum of the next three years based on rents being paid on April 1, 2019, prior to coronavirus.

Bira and ratings advisory Altus Group are asking the Government to keep the next revaluation originally planned for 2022.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira’s CEO, said: “The current proposal would be disastrous for all businesses that pay non-domestic rates. We must have the reference point for determining future rates bills at a time post coronavirus so they are an accurate assessment taking into account the full impact once this crisis has passed.”

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