Rishi Sunak to delay business rates review again until autumn 2021

Rishi Sunak in House of Commons

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce shortly that he will delay the Treasury’s report on the “fundamental review of business rates” until autumn 2021.

According to The Financial Times, Sunak will today confirm he is delaying the review until later this year — a key part of his promise to “level the playing field” between the high street and online retailers.

It is reported that the chancellor will argue that postponing the report to the autumn will allow him to make decisions when the economic uncertainty caused by the Coronavirus pandemic has reduced.

The business rates holiday in England is currently due to end on 31 March, however this is expected to be extended into the summer, along with the furlough scheme. Sunak is expected to confirm these moves in his budget on 3 March.

In the last week, Tesco CEO Ken Murphy signed a letter to Sunak calling for a permanent reduction in business rates in the next budget, and Next boss Lord Wolfson called for higher business rates on warehouses.