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Recent changes & Government announcements

Chancellors Budget proposals - November 2017

Over the next 5 years the government will provide further support to businesses and improve the fairness of the system in England, by:

  • bringing forward to 1 April 2018 the planned switch in indexation from RPI to the main measure of inflation (currently CPI)
  • continuing the £1,000 business rate discount for public houses with a rateable value of up to £100,000, subject to state aid limits for businesses with multiple properties, for one year from 1 April 2018
  • increasing the frequency with which the VOA revalues non-domestic properties to every three years following the next revaluation, currently due in 2022. To enable this, ratepayers will be required to provide regular information to the VOA on who is responsible for business rates and property characteristics including use and rent. The government will consult on the implementation of these changes in the spring
  • legislating retrospectively to address the so-called “staircase tax”. Affected businesses will be able to ask the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) to recalculate valuations so that bills are based on previous practice backdated to April 2010 – including those who lost Small Business Rate Relief as a result of the Court judgement. The government will publish draft legislation shortly

Discretionary Rate Relief (Revaluation) scheme

St Helens Council will be operating a Discretionary Rate Relief (Revaluation) scheme to support local ratepayers who have experienced large increases in their business rates as a result of the 2017 revaluation.

Chancellors Budget proposals - March 2017

In addition to the previous proposals the Government has announced further planned support:

  • Support for small businesses losing Small Business Rate Relief to limit increases in their bills to the greater of £600 or the real terms transitional relief cap for small businesses each year
  • The government will also introduce a £1,000 business rate discount for public houses with a rateable value of up to £100,000, subject to state aid limits for businesses with multiple properties, for one year from 1 April 2017.

Chancellors Budget proposals - March 2016

Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR):-

The temporary doubling of SBRR will be made permanent from 1 April 2017.
Also the 100% SBRR threshold will be raised to rateable values of up to £12,000, with tapered relief up to £15,000, from 1 April 2017.

Standard Multiplier

The threshold at which business rates bills are calculated using the standard multiplier will be raised to properties with rateable values of £51,000 and above from 1 April 2017.

Local newspapers

The government will introduce a £1,500 business rates discount for office space occupied by local newspapers in England, up to a maximum of one discount per local newspaper title and per hereditament, and up to state aid limits, for 2 years from 1 April 2017.

Public lavatories

The government will allow local authorities in England to use their discretionary relief powers to support publicly owned public lavatories from 1 April 2018.


The government will change the annual uprating of business rates in England from the Retail Prices Index to the main measure of inflation, currently the Consumer Price Index, from 1 April 2020.

Long-term review

The government will publish a summary of the responses received as part of the long-term review of business rates in England in March 2016.


The government will work with local authorities in England to standardise business rates bills by 1 April 2017, ensure that all ratepayers can receive bills and make payments online by 1 April 2017 and ensure that all local authority billing and collection systems link with HMRC digital tax accounts by 2022.

Valuation Reform

The government will aim to introduce more frequent (at least 3 yearly) revaluations of properties in England for business rates purposes and will publish a discussion paper in March 2016 outlining options to deliver this.

PLEASE NOTE that the temporary Government reliefs, Retail Rate Relief & Re-Occupation Relief, have not been extended and will therefore terminate on 31st March 2016 as previously advised.