Sunak resists calls for extended business rates holiday


Chancellor Rishi Sunak has refused to extend full business rates relief in line with the four-week delay to the lifting of lockdown restrictions.

From July 1, the tax on commercial properties will return at a two-thirds discount, remaining in place until March 2022.

The British Independent Retailers Association and trade union Usdaw have recently called for the government to extend the business rates holiday beyond June.

Writing to Sunak last week, Usdaw general secretary Paddy Lillis warned the high street faced “collapse” without maintaining full relief until April 2022.

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The Chancellor has also refused to budge on extending the furlough scheme, which currently pays 80 per cent of people’s wages.

The programme is being wound down over the next three months, with employers expected to contribute 10 per cent from July and 20 per cent from August.

Organisations including the British Chambers of Commerce have urged Sunak to delay the changes until the end of lockdown.

However, a Treasury source told The Times that its scheme was “one of the most generous in the world” and the timetable would remain in place.

Both programmes were scheduled to wind down ten days after lockdown ended on June 21.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed “Freedom Day” would be delayed until July 19 after a rapid rise in Covid-19 hospitalisations.



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