The Treasury has pushed back its review of business rates until the autumn, it was revealed today (Feb 19).
It said it was delaying the report about the property tax as it expected more economic certainty then.
Rishi Sunak announced the fundamental review during last year’s Budget on March 11, and a call for evidence was launched in July.
Responses are currently being looked at by the government, with an interim report set to be released on March 23.
Retail – including car dealers – hospitality and leisure operators are benefiting at the moment from a business rates holiday for the current financial year, which will end on March 31.
Bosses want the £11bn tax break to be extended for another year to help businesses recover from closures brought about by the pandemic.
Kate Nicholls, chief executive of trade group UKHospitality, called business rates ‘an antiquated system of tax that bears almost no relation to the realities of business in the 21st century’, adding: ‘It needs addressing, so a delay in the review is obviously a disappointment.
‘If it must be delayed, then it is absolutely vital that the government uses the extra time to ensure it gets this right.’
Non-essential retail – including car showrooms – is currently shut because of the nationwide lockdown but is hoping for clarity about reopening when the prime minister reveals his ‘road map to recovery’ on Monday (22nd).
Yesterday (Feb 18), Next boss Lord Simon Wolfson said rates for retailers on the high street should be cut by 35 per cent, with the commercial property tax increased for online rival warehouses instead.