Trade Organisations

Bira urges Sunak to extend business rates relief for full year

The plea follows a decision by the government in Wales earlier this week to give retailers 100% rates relief until next March

The British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) is appealing to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to extend the 100% business rates relief in England for a full year.

The plea follows a decision by the government in Wales earlier this week to give retailers 100% rates relief until next March. In February, Scotland also made a similar pledge to its retailers as part of  £1.1bn consequential funding arising from UK government coronavirus spending. 

It comes as Sunak revealed details of his Budget in the House of Commons on 3 March, which included extension of the business rates relief for retailers until June. Which will then be followed by discounted rates of up to two thirds for those “hardest-hit”.

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While Bira “broadly welcomed” Sunak’s measures to support independent retailers through economic recovery, the group said it was “disappointing” that 100% rates relief had not been extended for the full 12 months.

Andrew Goodacre, Bira CEO, said: “Bira is delighted that the Welsh Government has fully recognised the challenges faced by retail over the next 12 months and it is a very positive decision to extend rates relief there for another 12 months.

“It makes it hard to understand why England is making businesses pay 25% of their rates in 2021/22.”

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