Bira joined other heads of the retail sector in demanding that Chancellor Rishi Sunak withdraw ‘disastrous’ legislation, which was due to be discussed on Wednesday (April 29). However, on Monday (April 27), the bill was postponed.
Bira’s CEO Andrew Goodacre said: “We are pleased that the Government listened to our concerns and pulled this bill. “However, in effect it is just delayed and we still need to see a firm commitment to assess rent values in 2021 after the Covid-19 crisis. This could be done as part of the overall review of business rates.”
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.
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 said it will continue to pressure the government to keep the next revaluation originally planned for 2022.