Business can spread payment over three years.
The Treasury has this morning announced that businesses can spread this years business rates payments over three years.
Under existing legislation business rates are adjusted every April in line with the Retail Prices Index for the previous September.
The new measures are designed to smooth the effects of the spike in inflation of 5 percent in September, which would have seen businesses facing an impact on their cash flow this year.
The majority of independent economists expect RPI inflation - which has now fallen to 0 percent - to turn negative at the end of 2009.
The impact of up-rating if RPI is negative would be to reduce total business rates in cash terms in 2010-11.
Business ratepayers will be able to defer around £600m across 1.6 million properties, boosting their cash flow for the current year.
This will include measures to allow those affected by the end of the 2005 transitional relief scheme also to spread payment of the increase in their bills over a three year period.
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Today’s announcement builds on other measures aimed at helping businesses such as HM Revenue and Customs’ time to pay arrangements, VAT and corporation tax bills.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer said:
“The Government recognises that businesses need help now to ease their cash flow at a time when money is very tight. This measure will help businesses to smooth their rates payments over the next three years.”
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Hazel Blears said:
"It's vital that we support businesses as they navigate their way through this tough financial climate. The steps we are taking today will provide them with real help now, by giving them the flexibility to defer part of this year's increase in business rates, and manage the financial pressures that they are facing.”