Most business rates set to fall

Two out of three business rates will fall next year as a result of revaluation, the Government announced today. Ministers claimed that no extra money will be collected as a result of the 2010 revaluation, with a million bills being lower than this year.

Around 60 per cent of business properties should see falls in their rate bills next year, while the Government said it was putting in place a £2 billion relief scheme to limit and phase in increases.

Local government minister Barbara Follett said: "Revaluation makes sure each business pays its fair contribution and no more - it will not raise a single extra penny for Government.

"As a result of revaluation, a million business properties will see an overall reduction in their rate bills next year, with some of the largest decreases in sectors such as industry and manufacturing.

"While the majority of businesses will see benefits on their accounting sheets from revaluation, for the minority with increases we're today giving the go-ahead for a £2 billion relief scheme to limit the impact on bills.

"This is on top of the wider support available to help ease business pressures including discounted rate bills for small businesses and deferring tax payments."

A spokesman for the British Chambers of Commerce said: "The Government's attempts to manage the revaluation process and transitional arrangements to prevent a major increase in costs for businesses seem to be a step in the right direction.

"What will now be critical is ensuring that there are not major business winners and losers from this change and that the implementation and communication of this process is done effectively."

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