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Small business rate relief more than doubled

Small business rate relief more than doubled

The tax threshold for small businesses will more than double to £15,000 from the current allowance of £6,000, George Osborne announced in his Budget today (16 March).

For the higher rate band, the chancellor said it will jump to £51,000 from £18,000 in a radical overhaul of business rate relief.

The move is set to affect more than a million UK businesses, which Mr Osborne said are currently “weighed down” by the existing tax regime.

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As many as 600,000 UK businesses will see their business rates cut completely when the new rates some into force in April 2017.

“This is a tax system that says we are open for business,” Mr Osborne said.

Mr Osborne said he wants to “get rid of tax for small businesses in a nation of shopkeers”, creating a “tax break in a digital age”.

“Businesses always want a simple tax system that works better for smaller firms.”

Businesses had urged the government to overhaul the rates in a bid to save firms £1.6bn over the next five years.

The Confederation of British Industry demanded that Mr Osborne scrap the link between rates and the retail prices index and instead use the typically lower consumer prices index measure of inflation.

katherine.denham@ft.com