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Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced a series of measures in his debut Budget, including some small business rate relief and promised another consultation before the next revaluation in five years.

A £300m fund will be made available to local authorities to allow them to provide relief in individual cases.

Hammond also revealed that any firms coming out of small business rates relief would benefit from an additional cap, so their rates will not increase by more than £50 a month.

However, antiques industry trade bodies believe much more needs to be done.

“The chancellor has ducked the desperate need for reform,” BADA chief executive Marco Forgione said.

“Business rates penalise high-street retailers while rewarding online traders. The aim must surely be on creating a tax system which is relevant to the modern business environment.”

Self-employed hit

LAPADA’s chief executive Rebecca Davies 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”.

Rebecca Davies

LAPADA's Rebecca Davies.

Book dealer Tim Bryars, of Bryars & Bryars in Cecil Court in London, said: “I’m struggling to find the fairness in a budget which proposes to hit the selfemployed and makes no real concessions about our archaic business rates system.”

Bryars added the “real campaign” against changing the rates system should “start now”. London dealers face rate rises of as much as 40% while some areas in the Midlands and in the north will also be impacted.

Elaine Phillips Antiques, of Harrogate in North Yorkshire, is facing a hike of more than 25% next month.

The business is now run by husband Colin and daughter Louise, who said: “Something very drastic needs to happen. We are taking a serious look at whether we can continue with our premises on the high street.”