Increases in business rates in England and Wales will be capped at 2 per cent from next April, Chancellor George Osborne has announced.
Business rates would have otherwise been linked to RPI inflation.
In today’s Autumn Statement, Osborne also said businesses will be allowed to pay their rates in 12 monthly instalments, rather than 10, from April 2014.
He also announced a £1,000 discount on business rate bills for all small companies in premises with rateable value of under £50,000 a year, for the next two years.
In addition, the Chancellor will introduce a new reoccupation relief that will half the rate for new occupants in vacant premises.
Osborne said: “Business rates impose a heavy burden on businesses of all sizes. Today, we will help ease that burden.”
He said the reoccupation relief and £1,000 discount on business rate bills will help strengthen local retailers – the group of businesses which he said have been hit particularly hard by the recession.
He said the reoccupation relief will help “get the vacant shops that blight too many town centres to open again”.