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Budget concession for firms facing steepest rates rises

Communities secretary Sajid Javid has said he is working with the chancellor to provide further support to businesses facing the steepest increases in business rates in time for the Budget.

The government had earmarked a £3.6bn package for transitional measures but Javid said: “It is clear to me that more needs to be done to level the playing field and make the system fairer”. He said chancellor Philip Hammond would announce new measures in the Budget on 8 March.

During a wider Commons debate yesterday on local government finance, Javid was asked whether there was scope for a more fundamental review. He said there was “clearly some room for improvement” to help independent retailers compete against ecommerce operators.

However, the government said last night that Javid’s comments referred to the application of the transitional package rather than a new influx of funds.

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