ACS (the Association of Convenience Stores) has welcomed the Chancellor’s support for local shops by extending the 75% business rates discount for retail and hospitality businesses through 2024-25.

In today’s Autumn Statement delivered by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt MP, a series of measures have been announced to boost business investment, including the extension of the 75% rates discount and the freezing of the small business rates multiplier. The Chancellor also announced that 100% capital allowances on qualifying plant and machinery investments (full expensing) will be made permanent.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “We welcome the extension of the retail and hospitality reliefs on business rates, which will help thousands of retailers with the cost of trading during what remains an extremely challenging time. There remain fundamental issues with the business rates system that need to be addressed to provide fairness across the system in the long term, but today’s announcements will provide a much-needed boost to investment.”

Additional measures announced in today’s Autumn Statement include:

Alcohol duties, including beer, wine, cider and spirits, will be frozen until August 1st next year
Employee National Insurance rate cut from 12% to 10% from January 6th 2024
Local authorities will be able to recover full costs of business planning applications to process applications quicker, or the application fee will be refunded
Duty rates on hand rolling tobacco will rise by 10% above the existing tobacco duty escalator
Introducing a legal right for workers to require employers to pay into their existing pension pot
Class 2 National Insurance contributions for self employed people abolished
The Autumn Statement follows a Treasury announcement earlier this week about the National Living Wage rate for 2024, which will rise to £11.44 per hour from April and will apply to workers aged 21 and above.

Mr Lowman continued: “Many of the smallest convenience stores who are already eligible for 100% rates relief so won’t see a material change from these announcements. Local retailers will be more concerned about how to absorb the cost of another significant jump in the National Living Wage rate, without any help to offset this huge increase in wage costs, such as reducing the burden of Employer National Insurance Contributions.”

The full Autumn Statement document is available here:


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