Great news regarding Retail Discount for 2020/21

There was some headline grabbing news on Business Rates in yesterday’s budget with the Chancellor announcing an increase in Retail Discount for the 2010/21 rate year from 50% to 100%. Great news for qualifying properties with a Rateable Value of less than £51,000. The financial benefit is however capped by EU di-minimis state aid levels which set a ceiling for such relief at €200,000, circa £170,000 over a rolling three year period. To put that in perspective, a retailer with 6 properties, each with rateable values of £50,000 would exceed the cap if they had claimed their 33% relief last year and the full relief this year. All of a sudden this great gift to retailers looks much less exciting. There is potentially some light at the end of the tunnel as the Competition & Markets Authority will take responsibility for state aid following final transition from the EU at the end of the year. Without the state aid adjustment this high profile shot in the arm for retailers falls short of what the High Street needs.