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Riot-hit retailers granted business rate relief

Prime Minister David Cameron has revealed a series of concrete measures to help riot-hit retailers, including business rates holidays.

The Government will allow local authorities to give business rates relief to those retailers affected by the mayhem this week.

Speaking in Parliament, Prime Minister David Cameron said businesses badly damaged can defer their tax payments.

Cameron has also said today there will be a £20m high street support scheme to “help affected businesses get back up and running quickly”.

He added that regulations that slow the installation of protective shutters will be slashed.

Cameron said government will meet the cost of any legitimate compensation claims, and that people will now have 42 days to claim instead of the normal 14.

Cameron said the Association of British Insurers has said it expects the industry to be have to pay out more than £200m.

This morning the BRC revealed it had written Cameron asking for a temporary suspension of business rates for riot-hit retailers and other measures to support traders disrupted by this week’s disorder.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “Our biggest fear is that otherwise successful retailers are pushed into insolvency by the events of this week. Suspending business rates on wrecked shops, flexibility on VAT collection and reassurance that shortfalls in insurance cover will be made up will all help substantially minimise that risk.”

Robertson added:  “The Prime Minister has listened to our pleas and satisfied the majority of them. The mindless damage done to shops over the past few days is in effect mindless damage to our communities. The Government has shown great willingness to work with retailers to put our streets back together.

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