Autumn Budget 2021

50% business rates discount for hospitality sector

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

Rates reduction: Business rates reduced to 50% for the hospitality sector in the next year, Sunak announced (Getty/ Walter Bibikow)
Rates reduction: Business rates reduced to 50% for the hospitality sector in the next year, Sunak announced (Getty/ Walter Bibikow)

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A 50% business rates discount will be put in place for the hospitality, retail and leisure sectors for one year, announced the Chancellor of the Exchequer at today's Autumn Budget (Wednesday 27 October).

Rishi Sunak announced that any eligible business can claim the 50% discount on their bills on up to £110,000, in what is, Covid reliefs aside, the single biggest year tax cut to business rates in over 30 years.

Sunak said: “Any eligible business can claim a discount on their bills of 50% up to a maximum of £110,000.

"That is a business tax cut worth almost £1.7bn.

"Together with small business rate relief this means that over 90% of all retail hospitality and leisure businesses will see a discount of at least 50%."

Devil is in the detail

Sunak said that today's Budget would cut overall business rates by £7bn.

He said: “We are unleashing the dynamism and creativity of British businesses, with a simpler, fairer and more competitive tax system."

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “We have been lobbying hard for significant reform of the outdated business rates system and therefore very much welcome the Chancellor’s move today to extend the 50% business rates relief for the hospitality and leisure sector for the next financial year.

“The devil will be in the detail, though, so we look forward to learning to what extent it will benefit businesses.”

The Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester Sacha Lord said: "Finally, the Chancellor has recognised the strength and importance of the hospitality sector.

“I am pleased to see the much-needed business rate discount and the introduction of tax reforms on alcohol, both of which will go far in helping hospitality operators, especially wet-led pubs, maintain a steadier footing while they recover."

A trying two years

In February, the Government promised the final report of the fundamental review of business rates, which was announced at last year’s Budget, would be published in Autumn. Sunak announced that the review will be announced later today.

Since the pandemic’s onset, a total of 358,254 occupied hospitality, retail and leisure premises in England have received a total of £17.16 billion in COVID business rates relief, including a 15-month holiday, according to the real estate adviser Atlus Group.

Before the Budget, financial Covid support measures were due to come to an end next year with occupied retail, leisure and hospitality premises in England currently receiving £6.1 billion of business rates relief for 2021/22 as the full holiday was extended until the end of June 2021 with the relief then continuing at reduced and capped level of 66% until 31st March 2022.

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