High streets 'face £3bn rates rise' next month

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

High streets 'face £3bn rates rise' next month

Related tags Business rates Government

Hospitality businesses in England face a ‘dangerous cost of doing business crisis’ with high street business rates set to rise £3.1bn on 1 April, according to Altus Group.

Coming after yesterday’s (23 March) Spring Statement​, analysis by Altus shows that councils in England estimate business rates income from 1​April for the 2022/23 tax year will be £22.57bn after all reliefs, accounting adjustments and sums retained outside the rates retention scheme are taken into consideration.

According to the real estate adviser, this represents a 17% increase in business rates income on the £19.29bn expected to have been collected, across all high street sectors, in England during the 2021/22 financial year, which ends on 31​March.

Occupied retail, leisure and hospitality premises received a 100% business rates discount for the 2020/21 tax year and the first three months of 2021/22, with the relief then cut to 66% for the remaining nine months of the financial year up to a total value of £2m per business.

However, from 1 April 2022, this will be replaced by a new relief for eligible retail, hospitality, and leisure properties, offering a smaller 50% cut on rates bills that’s capped at £110,000 for larger businesses.

Altus Group say the lower discount and much smaller cap on help will see the cost of the support half from £5.76bn during 2021/22 to £2.66bn for 2022/23, costing high street businesses an extra £3.1bn in tax.

Robert Hayton, UK President at Altus Group, says high street firms are facing a ‘dangerous cost of doing business crisis that could derail their recovery from the pandemic’ citing ‘lower rates relief; increased employment costs; surging gas and electricity bills; as well as other increased operational costs’.

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