Feb 18, 2021

Sunak delays business rates review until autumn

Rishi Sunak will on Friday announce he is delaying until later this year a final report on a review of business rates - a key part of his promise to "Level the playing field" between the high street and online retailers. In the meantime, Sunak is expected to announce in the Budget next month an extension of the year-long business rates holiday for retail, hospitality and leisure, giving the hard-hit sectors much-needed breathing space. Sunak badly needs the revenue raised by business rates. Sunak's colleagues refused to prejudge the business rates review, but on the issue of an online tax one said: "The chancellor has made it clear he wants to level the playing field between the high street and online." The delay in the review comes as big retailers become increasingly restive about the uncertainty on business rates, and lobby groups have warned the industry cannot wait until later this year.

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