Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond, in his first Budget, announced that there will be a consultation and revealed a series of measures including a cap for small businesses to stop rates from going up by more than £50 a month.
He said: "No business losing their small business rate relief will see their bill increase next year by more than £50 a month."
However many small businesses face a rates hike of up to 400% a month from April. The revaluation of business rates, the first reassessment in seven years, means companies pay rates that take into account property value increases that have occurred since 2008. For areas that have seen a rise in the price of property, rates have rocketed.
Rebecca Davies, chief executive of LAPADA said: “The Chancellor has given a special tax break to pubs because of the social and cultural contribution they make to communities. I would hope, therefore, that when it comes to business rates and corporation tax the Government will be equally committed to protecting another vital part of our country’s cultural heritage: the high street art and antiques shop.”
The business rates relief package announced in the Budget by Hammond totals £435m but was focused on pubs and will not appease many small businesses in the art and antiques sector.
Many still demand a complete overhaul of the system to base the tax on the size of turnover or profit, not the value of the property they occupy. This would help level the playing field with businesses that operate only online.
"The Chancellor has ducked the desperate need for reform," said BADA CEO Marco Forgione. "Business rates penalise high street retailers while rewarding online traders. There has to be a move away from taxation which bears no relation to a business's turnover or profitability. The aim must surely be on creating a tax system which is relevant to the modern business environment."