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Budget 2017: Business rates help but self-employed hit

Help for firms that have been hit by changes to business rates but the self-employed suffer rise in National Insurance contributions

Lauren Hurley/PA Wire
Chancellor Philip Hammond has awarded some relief to business rate payers

An emergency £435 million package has been unveiled by Philip Hammond to help pubs and other firms facing major hikes in their business rates.

But some self-employed workers will face higher tax bills as the Chancellor announces plans to increase National Insurance contributions.

In his first Budget, Mr Hammond set out help - including a £1,000 cut for most pubs - in response to widespread anger and political pressure over the revaluation process.

Committing to longer term changes to the system, including better ways to tax online firms, the Chancellor acknowledged that the business rates revaluation had created some "hard cases".

Under his package of reforms, he said firms set to lose small business relief would benefit from an additional cap on bill rises, limiting hikes in monthly bills to £50 for a year.

Pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 - some 90 per cent of establishments - will be given a £1,000 discount on their rates in 2017.

Councils will be given a £300 million fund to deliver "discretionary relief" to hard-pressed firms in their areas.

Under his reforms to National Insurance contributions, Mr Hammond said higher-paid self-employed workers will face rises of around 60p a week, raising an extra £145 million a year for the Exchequer by 2021/22.

David Bullimore, head of rating with chartered surveying firm Johnson Fellows in Birmingham, said: "I welcome the government's businesses rates review but there must be clear action to assist ratepayers and their agents achieve the right level of rateable value as quickly as possible.

"I also welcome the £300 million fund to assist ratepayers but we will need to see the details of how they will assist occupiers and landlords.

"The £1,000 relief being offered to pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 is welcome but insufficient and in no way covers their increasing liability."

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