Covid-19 related MCC Appeals ruled out of new Business Rates relief set out by Government

15th April 2021

Covid-19 related MCC appeals ruled out of new business rates relief set out by Government.

Government to

Set out in the March budget, The Government has announced a new Business Rates relief fund of £1.5 billion for businesses affected by COVID-19 outside the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors. However, targeted support on basis of material changes of circumstance (MCC) has been ruled out. The government has said that market-wide economic changes to property values, such as from COVID-19, can only be properly considered at general rates revaluations, and will therefore be legislating to rule out COVID-19 related MCC appeals. This decision has made many illegible for business rates relief.

The government has defended this decision, claiming that the relief fund will get cash to affected businesses in the most proportionate and equitable way. Allowing business rates appeals on the basis of a ‘material change in circumstances’ could have led to significant amounts of taxpayer support going to businesses who have been able to operate normally throughout the pandemic and disproportionately benefitting particular regions like London.

The £1.5 billion pot will be distributed according to which sectors have suffered most economically, rather than on the basis of falls in property values, ensuring the support is provided to businesses in England in the fastest and fairest way possible.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

“Our priority throughout this crisis has been to protect jobs and livelihoods. Providing this extra support will get cash to businesses who need it most, quickly and fairly.

By providing more targeted support than the business rates appeals system, our approach will help protect and support jobs in businesses across the country, providing a further boost as we reopen the economy, emerge from this crisis, and build back better.”

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