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Business rates relief: extensions and cuts

November’s Autumn Statement included a package of measures to help alleviate the burden of business rates in England and on the Scottish islands, but Wales won’t be so fortunate.

17 Jan 2024

By Dipali Buch

75% relief rules

Retail, hospitality and leisure properties that do not qualify for small business rates relief currently receive a 75% business rates discount, subject to a cap of £110,000 for each business. This relief is to continue throughout 2024/25.

Property will typically qualify for relief if the business is mainly being used as a:

  • Shop;
  • Restaurant, café, bar or pub;
  • Cinema or music venue; or
  • Gym, spa or hotel.

There is an equivalent scheme for Welsh retail, hospitality and leisure property, but for 2024/25 the discount has been reduced to 40%. There is no equivalent relief for Scottish or Northern Irish business property. However, Scotland has announced a new 100% relief for hospitality businesses situated on the Scottish islands.

Multipliers

A business rates bill consists of a property’s rateable value multiplied by a multiplier (or poundage). For 2024/25, the small business multiplier (rateable value below £51,000) is again frozen at 49.9p. However, the standard multiplier (rateable value over £51,000 or more) is being uprated by 6.7% to 54.6p.

Given inflation has now dropped to 3.9% (November 2023), the 6.7% increase for the standard multiplier is not going to be favourably received.

  • Scotland: The basic multiplier has been frozen, but higher value properties will see poundage increased by 6.7%.
  • Wales: The multiplier will see an across-the-board increase of 5%. This will be painful for smaller businesses, especially as the Welsh multiplier at 56.2p is the highest in the UK.
  • Northern Ireland: No announcement as yet, and, in any case, rate poundage varies across council areas.

To summarise the various outcomes:

England Scotland Wales
RV below £51,000 RV £51,000 or more RV up to £50,000 RV £51,001 to £100,000 RV £100,000 or more
Retail, hospitality and leisure relief (all subject to a cap of £110,000) 75% 100% (islands only) 40%
Multiplier 49.9p 54.6p 49.8p 54.5p 55.9p 56.2p

Details of the various business rates reliefs available in England can be found here.

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