Autumn Statement 2013: Chancellor to cap business rate rises

Closed High Street shops There was intense lobbying for a rethink on business rates by the chancellor

The chancellor will bid to boost firms and High Streets by capping increases in business rates in Thursday's Autumn Statement, the BBC has learned.

George Osborne will announce that rate rises will be limited to 2% in England and Wales next year instead of being linked to inflation.

He will also extend a scheme that offers rate relief to small businesses.

But he will stop short of a full review of a system widely seen as outdated, BBC correspondent Hugh Pym says.

This is despite calls for such a move by some industry groups, as well as Business Secretary Vince Cable.

Lost revenue

Business rates were set to rise by 3.2% next year, based as usual on the September retail prices index measure of inflation.

Autumn statement logo

The BBC will have full coverage of the Autumn Statement.

  • News Channel extensive coverage 08.30 - 21.30 GMT
  • BBC2 special programme 11.00 - 14.00 GMT
  • Radio 5 Shelagh Fogarty live from Westminster from 11.15 - 14.00 GMT

But there has been intense lobbying by business organisations for a rethink by the chancellor.

It is understood he will cap the increase at 2%, a move which will mean more than £300m of revenue is lost next year.

He will also announce the extension for another year of a scheme which gives small firms relief from rates liability.

Hugh Pym - BBC chief economics correspondent - said business rates were seen by many retailers as a crippling burden at a time when some High Streets were struggling.

Manufacturers wanting to expand felt the rates system could deter new investment, our correspondent added.

In Scotland, local councils will be able to adjust their own business rates relief packages to reflect local needs under a plan unveiled by the Scottish government earlier this year.

More on This Story

Autumn Statement 2013

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Business stories



  • Prostitute in red light district in Seoul, South KoreaSex for soldiers

    Did Korea encourage prostitutes near US military bases?

  • LuckyDumped

    Why times are bad for India's professional rubbish collectors

  • Walmart employees and supporters block off a major intersection near the Walton Family Foundation to stage a protest calling for $15 an hour and consistent full-time work in downtown Washington October 16, 2014. Black mark

    Wal-Mart workers revolt against the annual shopping bonanza

  • Child welfare worker with rescued babyTaboo babies

    Saving Kenya's children born of incest from a death sentence

From BBC Capital


  • All-inclusive holidaysThe Travel Show Watch

    With all-inclusive holidays seeing a resurgence are local trades missing out to big resorts?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.