The Chancellor is going to put his planned reforms to the business rates for small firms on hold, as he wants to study the issue more closely before deciding what to do.
Rishi Sunak had been widely expected to announce reforms of these rates in his upcoming Budget, but a Daily Telegraph report states that this has now been put on indefinite hold. Instead, he is being predicted to confirm a number of minor changes to the rates for smaller firms during his October Budget.
This will be a real blow to many in the small business community, as it is not the first time these reforms have been pushed back. On four previous occasions, the government has announced planned reforms, only for these to fail to materialise.
Small high street shops in particular have argued that the rates they pay on their premises are much higher than those of bigger firms located outside of town centres, putting them at a disadvantage. An accountant for small business in Goole or other places may not be able to get rates reduced, but they can help firms find savings in other areas to reduce the burden.
The situation is even starker in comparison to online e-commerce outlets, which are able to use warehouses located in remote areas for distribution, paying even less in business rates.
In the Daily Telegraph report, a spokesperson for the government stated that it still intends to tackle the problem, but that it wants a wholesale system reform, which will require more time.