Finance minister Conor Murphy has confirmed that regional rates are going to be frozen once again this year in Northern Ireland. He is also providing a £50 million rates support package for the 2022/23 financial year and will be continuing with the Small Business Rate Relief. The rates freeze is equivalent to one months rate holiday for all with some businesses receiving up to 3 months holiday from paying. This is all good news for the business community as we move forward this year with a little more confidence.
Rates Support Package As Businesses Continue To Rebuild
Speaking about this decision to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr Murphy said that:
“As businesses continue to rebuild, I am announcing a further £50m rates support package to support the recovery. This will provide all businesses with a one month rates holiday with the exception of utilities and larger food stores while retail, hospitality, tourism, leisure, childcare, newspapers and airports will receive a three months rates holiday.
“Businesses in these hardest hit sectors have paid no rates since March 2020 and will now pay no rates until July 2022.
“Recognising the cost of living crisis, I had proposed as part of the draft budget a proposal to freeze both the domestic and non-domestic regional rates for the next three years.
“This freeze was intended to help with the rising costs being faced by families and businesses alike. While a final budget for the next three years has not been agreed by the Executive, I can proceed with this freeze for the first year. The Assembly backing today will freeze household and business rates for the next 12 months, giving households and businesses certainty in the immediate time ahead.
“The extension of the scheme sends a strong message of the important contribution of the small business sector.”
Businesses Need Certainty And To Be Able To Plan Ahead
The Minister concluded: “While it’s not possible to finalise the 2022-2025 Budget, businesses need certainty and to be able to plan ahead. These vital measures build on the around £1 billion support my department has provided through rates relief and Covid grants and will give businesses time to recover.”
All welcome news indeed for the whole business community. Finally, as ever, if any business requires assistance with any accountancy issues they may have, don`t hesitate to get in touch with our team here in Armagh on 028 3752 2909.