Councils urged to act on business rates relief

Many smaller firms are “on a cliff edge” as they wait for local councils to implement a business rates relief fund intended to support those most affected by the April 2017 revaluation, property specialists have reported.

The allocation of the government’s £300m discretionary relief scheme to local authorities was notified in April, a government minister pointed out during a House of Lords debate last week, adding that councils “should pass on that money”. But some councils are still engaged in consultation with businesses and residents over distribution of the funds. Tameside’s consultation runs until 15 August, while Haringey’s ended in May. The London borough of Bromley announced on 20 July that, following consultation, its scheme will be implemented “later this year”.

It is disappointing, London Councils chair Claire Kober said, that the government had “chosen to criticise local government for delays which are beyond its control, rather than dealing with the underlying issue – the business rates valuation system itself”. Read more:

My news story for AAT Comment, June 26