Last week we heard that the UK borrowed its highest ever January amount since 1993. It was the first time in 10 years that more has been borrowed in January than collected through tax and other income, and this emphasises the scale of Government borrowing to support businesses and protect jobs through schemes such as the Furlough and self-employment programmes. The UK’s overall debt is now 97.6% of gross domestic product which is its highest in 60 years.

We believe there will be a bounce back and the successful vaccination programme will allow us to get to some form of normality later this year, in the meantime, we need to be patient.  

The final report of the government’s fundamental review of business rates will now be published in the Autumn, the Business Rates Review was announced by the Chancellor at last year’s Budget and a call for evidence closed late last year. A call for evidence was published in July 2020 to seek stakeholders’ views on key issues including reforming the rates multiplier and looking at alternative ways of taxing non-residential property. An interim report – which will include a summary of consultation responses – will be published on 23 March.

Due to the ongoing and wide-ranging impacts of the pandemic and economic uncertainty, the government said the review’s final report would be released later in the year when there is more clarity on the long-term state of the economy and the public finances.

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