Chancellor Philip Hammond could introduce measures to ease the burden of a business rates rise set to happen next April, a rates expert has told RN.

Business rates are currently calculated using the Retail Price Index (RPI), but Mr Hammond may give in to long-term lobbying from businesses and choose a Consumer Price Index (CPI)-linked increase.

Property agency Colliers International’s head of rating John Webber said: “At the moment as a business you’re going to be stung in both directions because interest rates have gone up and business rates will go up too. Businesses have been saying for years it shouldn’t be linked to RPI.”

The RPI measure of inflation is usually 1% higher than the CPI measure, meaning any annual rise would be reduced by billions of pounds.

Meanwhile, figures from the Department for Communities and Local Government show 64% of local authorities have now started distributing their allocated share of a £300m discretionary relief fund provided by the government. 

James Wilkinson, of Pybus Newsagents in Boroughbridge, recently received relief from Harrogate Borough Council amounting to a 66% reduction to the extra amount he has had to pay since last April’s re-evaluation. 

“With all the other costs at the moment, it will be a massive help,” he said.