Hammond promises rates reform… but details are scarce

Chancellor Philip Hammond promised to build the economy a “strong and stable platform” as he delivered details on how he intends to help businesses in the Spring Budget.

Hammond confirmed that Corporation Tax will fall to 19% from April and 17% by 2020 in a move that he said would send out a message that “Britain is open for business,” and that he was “listening to the voice of business”.

The Chancellor also announced a reduction is the red tape surrounding the R&D tax regime that will make the country “a global competitor”.

Businesses will welcome a move to review the business rates revalutation system, but there was little detail from Hammond. He did offer to reform the process and said the government will set out its preferred approach “in due course”.

There was good news on the business rates front for pubs with a rateable value lower than £100,000 which will receive a £1,000 annual discount.

Meanwhile, Hammond also said that any growing business exiting small business rates relief will pay no more than £50 more a month in business rates.

Finally, the Chancellor announced a £300m fund for local authorities to use for “discretionary relief” for business rates in “special hardship cases”.

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