AUTUMN STATEMENT 2023

Business rates discount extended

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

What did Hunt say about business rates in Autumn Statement 2023

Related tags Finance Legislation Government

On Wednesday 22 November, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced an extension to the 75% discount for business rates up to £100k for the sector as part of the Autumn Statement.

Speaking in the Houses of Parliament this afternoon, Hunt said the business rates relief scheme would be extended for another year for retail and hospitality firms, saving the average pub £12,800. 

Hunt added the average small business had already saves some £20,000 with the discount. 

Disappointing 

While the standard multiplier will increase in line with inflation, the Chancellor also confirmed a freeze to the small business multiplier for further year. 

Moreover, Hunt warned temporary support measures could not continue forever. 

In a social media post to X, formerly known as Twitter, UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "Disappointing standard multiplier will rise [with] inflation - many small businesses operate from larger standard rated premises, particularly hospitality."

A freeze to alcohol duty for a further year was also announced​ as part of the statement. 

Hunt stated the tax cuts were some of the biggest in British history and that the Government would continue to "back British businesses" that "work so hard".

British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “We wholeheartedly welcome the Chancellor’s decisions to freeze beer duty until August 2024, freeze the small business rates multiplier, and maintain a business rate relief of 75%.

Critical investment 

"These policy decisions will save our sector around £350m. They will help deliver growth across cities, towns and villages all over the UK, helping to level up the nation and underpin truly national growth in local economies at the heart of our communities.

"This investment in our sector is critical, particularly as National Living Wage increases​ - at more than double the rate of inflation - will add over £240m to pub wage bills at this challenging time. 

“Britain’s publicans and brewers will be raising a glass to the Chancellor tonight, who has once again recognised the importance of our nation’s pubs and brewers to the economy and communities, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with the Government to unlock the UK’s further economic growth.” 

Commercial real estate intelligence firm Altus Group president of property tax Alex Probyn accused the Chancellor of “giving with one hand and taking with another”.

He said: “The Chancellor is increasing business rates next April for 219,410 non-domestic properties in England to the tune of £1.66bn through a 6.7% inflationary rise saying that those increases could be clawed back through full expensing if companies choose to invest. But our clients already tell us that business rates are a disincentive to invest and an effective tax rate of 54.6% will do not thing to dispel that.”

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