Councils given power to set business rates

5 October 2015

Today at the Conservative party conference, George Osborne revealed there will be a new business rate system that gives power to local councils to decide their own levels of rates to charge. 

The government also announced £26 billion raised in business rates around the UK will be passed back to local councils to support funding.

Businesses have been lobbying for some time now for a business rates reform as these tax charges can be hugely expensive, often crippling businesses located in city centres. There is also a lack of transparency in the current system as there is no clear information as to how businesses are valued for different levels of business rates. It is then difficult and costly to appeal. 

Giving more power to local councils is a step in the right direction and will aid healthy competition between businesses and areas. However, it could mean rates increase in some towns or cities if a particular council decides there is a need for it.