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Government to speed up business rates relief

The government has held talks with software providers to speed up business rates relief to small businesses, after the new tax regime came into effect in April.

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The chancellor previously promised financial support for small UK businesses hit by business rate hikes in March.

Local government minister Marcus Jones has called council software providers Capita, Civica and Northgate Public Services into Whitehall for discussions.

A deadline of 21 August has now been agreed for the software companies to provide councils with updated software to re-bill the affected businesses.

A spokesman for the Department for Communities and Local Government said: “We’ve been clear that local authorities should take urgent steps to make sure small businesses benefit from the funding that we announced at the Budget in April.

“There are councils that have pressed ahead and issued revised bills. Others have chosen to wait for software updates to deliver this particular scheme and we’ve taken steps to make sure business get this relief as quickly as possible.”

Mark Rigby, chief executive at business rent and rates specialist CVS, commented: ”The minister was right to intervene to bring certainty by imposing a deadline.”


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