Great Britain

Business rates budget 2020: Chancellor announces cut in Government response to coronavirus

Chancellor Rishi Sunak on Wednesday announced he will take the "exceptional step" of abolishing business rates for most British business in a bid to help the economy cope with the impact of coronavirus. Chancellor Sunak said the Government had also decided to extend the 100 percent retail discount dor small business as well to ensure they benefit from the measures announced. Speaking to fellow MPs in the House of Commons, Mr Sunak said: "Our manifesto promised that for shops, cinemas, restaurants, and music venues with a rateable value of less than £51,000 we would increase their business rates Retail Discount to 50 percent. 

"Today I can go further, and take the exceptional step, for this coming year, of abolishing their business rates altogether.

"But there are tens of thousands of other businesses in the leisure and hospitality sectors, currently not covered by this policy."

He continued: "Museums, art galleries, and theatres; Caravan parks and gyms; Small hotels and B&Bs; sports clubs, night clubs; clubhouses, guest houses. They would not benefit from today's measure - but they could be some of the hardest-hit. So for this year I have decided to extend the 100% retail discount to them as well."

The Chancellor added: "Those measures are on top of plans that I will set out later in this Budget, which provide an additional fiscal loosening of £18bn to support the economy this year.

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Budget 2020 Rishi Sunak finance latest news

Business rate budget 2020: Sunak announced all business rates will be abolished (Image: PARLIAMENT TV)

Budget 2020 Rishi Sunak business rates cut latest

The budget 2020 includes a £1bn tax cut for business (Image: PARLIAMENT TV)

"That means I am announcing today, in total, a £30bn fiscal stimulus to support British people, British jobs and British businesses through this moment.”

Mr Sunak claimed the measures announced would correspond to a £1billion tax cut for business and pledged an additional £3,000 cash grant for smaller businesses currently eligible for the small business rates relief.

As part of the Government's financial response to the coronavirus threat, Chancellor Sunak unveiled a new £7bn fund aimed at supporting the NHS in addition to a £5bn emergency response fund.

The Chancellor added: "Whatever it needs, whatever it costs, we stand behind our NHS.

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"If people fall ill, or can’t work, we must support them. Statutory sick pay will be paid from day one and it will also be available for all those who are self-isolating even if they have not yet been diagnosed."

The Chancellor said: "Whatever extra resources our NHS needs to cope with COVID-19 - it will get.

"So, whether its research for a vaccine, recruiting thousands of returning staff, or supporting our brilliant doctors and nurses, whether its millions of pounds or billions of pounds, whatever it needs, whatever it costs, we stand behind our NHS."

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