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Business-rates

Business Rates

The Issue

The out-dated and unhelpful business rates system in England was introduced in 1990. We believe it’s unfair as it’s unrelated to the ability to pay, or changing economic circumstances. Our research shows seven per cent of small firms pay more in business rates than in rent. They’re also consistently the third highest cost after staff and rent.

 

Action FSB have taken

  • We’ve repeatedly called for the business rates system to be fundamentally reformed.
  • We’ve gathered evidence from members about the implications of the complicated and regressive system.
  • We’ve been instrumental in the introduction and improvement of small business rate relief schemes across the UK.

 

Our Goal

We believe UK small businesses should not be burdened by an expensive, inflexible and unfair tax. Our campaigning has seen the Chancellor announce a review of the current, outdated system. We want small firms to benefit from a fairer, more flexible system that doesn’t discourage growth and investment.

Achievements in...


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Northern Ireland

  • Lobbying has resulted in more businesses qualifying within the 20 per cent bracket. A full evaluation will take place during 2014 and the FSB is lobbying for the relief to continue beyond 2015.
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Wales

  • Small Business Rates will be fully devolved to Wales, and as a result the Welsh Government has now started consulting on reforms to the business rates system.
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Scotland

  • In Scotland the FSB has secured the most generous small business package (until 2016), benefiting almost 4,000 businesses.

  • In 2013 we successfully argued for the Small Business Bonus Scheme to remain in place. It’s the most generous business rates relief package in the UK, with small businesses saving an average of £1,700 a year.

  • In 2014 we won an extension to the business rate relief package, which will benefit 4,000 premises and place a cap on poundage rates. As a result, more than half of FSB members pay no rates at all.

  • In 2015 we continued lobbying for the retention of the Small Business Bonus and, as a consequence, the First Minister confirmed that it will be in place until 2020.

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UK/Westminster

  • After years of campaigning on behalf of our members, the small business rate relief was introduced in England in 2005 and temporarily doubled in 2010.
  • Our lobbying has repeatedly extended the period of doubled relief.
  • In December 2014 the Chancellor announced a review of the business rate system.
Visit UK/Westminster section

FSB Business Banking

FSB members are entitled to a specially tailored bank account from the Co-operative Bank, giving you the freedom to focus on running your business.

Find out more

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