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Business rate U-turn welcomed by businesses

Businesses welcomed the last minute U-turn by Chancellor Alistair Darling in which he deferred a 5 per cent increase in business rates, reducing it to 2 per cent instead.

Darling said businesses would be able to spread payment of the 5 per cent increase over three years, instead of implementing it immediately.

Under existing legislation, business rates are adjusted every April in line with the Retail Prices Index for the previous September.

The new measures are designed to smooth the effects of the spike in inflation of 5 per cent in September, which would have seen businesses facing an impact on their cash flow this year.

Darling said: “The Government recognises that businesses need help now to ease their cash flow at a time when money is very tight. This measure will help businesses to smooth their rates payments over the next three years.”

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