Government cuts Manchester business rates in a bid to re-energise our high streets

Shops, restaurants and pubs across the region are set to see a reduction in their business rates bills this year.

Companies in the North West which pay business rates will see their bills fall by around 3.2 pc on average from April 1.

Businesses across England will start receiving letters this month from local councils with details of new rates which are changing as a result of a national revaluation. It comes after the government announced a £13.6bn package aimed at making the tax burden on business fairer in the autumn statement.

Retail, hospitality and leisure businesses will see a drop in their bills, while large distribution warehouses will pay 27 pc more to reflect the growth of the online sales sector. This means that the total amount of money collected in places like Manchester will increase, but the average bill for each business will fall.

Figures shared exclusively with the Local Democracy Reporting Service reveal that the extra government support offered will save businesses in the North West more than £565m over the next financial year. The average saving for each property paying business rates across the region will be around 3.2 pc.

Victoria Atkins MP, Financial Secretary to the Treasury, said: “From Market Street to the Northern Quarter to Deansgate, the shops, restaurants and businesses that make up Manchester city centre are facing challenging times – as are others across the whole of the North West – and I want to make clear that this government is on their side.

“One of the ways we can help is by making it easier – and cheaper – to do business.

“This package does just that. It protects all from rising inflation, partly caused by Putin’s brutal war in Ukraine, resulting in 3.2 pc fall in business rates bills – on average – in the North West, with the region benefiting from £565m in government business rates support next year.”

The business rates package announced in the autumn statement alongside this year’s revaluation of rateable properties means that all regions in England will see a decrease in average bills.

Across the country, the total business rates paid by retail is predicted to fall by a fifth, whilst large distribution warehouses will see a 27 pc increase in bills reflecting the growth in the online sales sector.

In Manchester, the total amount collected by the council next year will increase by around 4 pc. The town hall will keep some of the £350m collected next year.

The increase is partly because offices – which will see their rateable values rise from April – make up a higher proportion of properties in the city than the rest of England. Meanwhile, accommodation, leisure and retail businesses – which will see a reduction in rates – only account for 30 pc of rateable properties in Manchester, as opposed to making up 40 pc of businesses across the country.

As part of a trial, local authorities in Greater Manchester currently keep all of the additional revenue raised from business rates above an agreed baseline. Any losses in business rates revenue as a result of the revaluation of rateable properties will be covered by the government, the treasury has confirmed.

Small businesses who would lose their eligibility for relief schemes due to the revaluation will be protected through a new scheme worth more than £500m. The business rates multiplier will also be frozen for another year to protect all ratepayers from rising inflation in a move that is worth £9.3bn over five years.

Four in five retail, hospitality and leisure businesses – amounting to more than 350,000 properties – will see their bills either decrease or stay the same in the next year. The financial package also increases rates relief for businesses in the sector from 50 pc to 75 pc, helping around 230,000 rateable properties.


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