Northern Ireland extends business rates holiday

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Northern Ireland extends business rates holiday for hospitality

Related tags Business rates Hospitality Northern ireland Business rate relief

The Northern Ireland Executive has announced it is extending the business rates holiday for certain sectors, including hospitality, for a further 12 months.

Finance Minister Conor Murphy confirmed the extension, which will cover 29,000 businesses at a cost of £230m. 

It will mean that only hospitality businesses in England will now face a rise in business rates during the 2021 financial year.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced earlier this month​ that the business rates holiday for businesses in England will only be extended through to the end of June, and then be discounted for the remaining nine months of the financial year by two thirds, up to a value of £2m for closed businesses, with a lower cap for those who have been able to stay open.

Responding to the rates extension in Northern Ireland, Hospitality Ulster chief executive Colin Neill said: “This is really welcome news at a time when businesses in the hospitality sector are dead on their feet. They have either been closed or required to operate under the most severe restrictions of any business sector for nearly a year.

"The reopening phase, as outlined last week, will take months to get everyone trading again and most likely with restrictions in place.

“Hospitality businesses are burning up £1m a day to keep their businesses closed and will lose at least one-third of this year’s turnover before they open. Further financial assistance in the form of a top up grant and a refinancing grant to support reopening will be essential.

"The excessive debt burden that the industry now faces will mean it will be years until the industry returns to profitability.

“We would encourage the Minister and the Executive to examine these unique set of circumstances which impact the hospitality sector and make special considerations so that they can reopen on a sustainable footing and can actually benefit from the rates holiday.”

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