A Treasury minister has suggested further business rates support might be offered to hospitality businesses. We don’t know for sure, but it would be a huge boost for pubs and restaurants.
For now, we can only hope the Chancellor Rishi Sunak comes good in his Budget next month.
If what the financial secretary to the Treasury Jesse Norman has most recently said is true, the position of the Government might have shifted. He previously said there were “no current plans” to extend the VAT cut and carry on with lower business rates but has now indicated otherwise.
Norman has now told councils they should “consider issuing business rates bills after the chancellor has set out his plan at the Budget” on March 3.
He added “it is in the public interest to avoid any potential confusion for businesses and to avoid the cost of having to re-bill businesses in light of any measures that may be included in the Budget”.
Robert Hayton, UK president at Altus Group, said: “If the end of the pandemic is indeed in sight, it has never been more important than now to ensure that viable businesses are supported adequately during these final months.
“The chancellor has to avoid a cliff-edge through withdrawing reliefs too early but he also cannot risk repeating the mistakes of the past where support was arbitrary rather than targeted to those most in need.”