Laura Sharman 19 November 2015

Councils paying out record levels of business rate discounts

Councils have paid out more than £3bn in business rate discounts and reliefs in the past year, according to new figures.

The figures, published by the Department for Communities and Local Government, show that a record number of businesses are getting a discount from their rates bill.

Communities secretary Greg Clark said: ‘I’m pleased to see councils are taking steps to offer the support businesses need to grow and flourish, with over £3bn paid out in business rate relief in the last year.

‘The power to give business rate discounts was brought in with the Localism Act and in future all business rate revenue will be in the hands of local councils. They will have even greater ability to give to help local businesses in their area.’

The Government recently announced plans for councils to retain all revenue from business rates and have the freedom to set local rates. Those areas with an elected mayor will also have the freedom to increase rates to finance local infrastructure projects.

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