Market Insight

Does business rates support package go far enough?

February 2, 2023
Despite concerns raised by industry and businesses alike over the potentially damaging impact of business rates increases at an already difficult time for the business community, Revaluation 2023 will still go ahead on 1 April 2023.

From this point, the rateable values (RVs) of all commercial properties in England will be updated based on what the properties were valued at on 1 April 2021.

This is known as the antecedent valuation date, and it is used by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) alongside a formula called the ‘Multiplier’ to calculate a business’ rating liability.

Whilst the antecedent valuation date ensures that all properties are valued from the same starting point and a move to a three-year revaluation cycle brings rateable values in line with an ever-changing property market, the fact remains that changes to business rates liability over the next rating period, will be significant.

In 2021, some property markets – in particular the industrial market -were booming as a result of the coming together Brexit and the rise in online retail resulting from the pandemic.
As a result, those occupying industrial property will experience a significant hike in business rates over the next rating period – all at a time of recession, rising energy costs and a cost-of-living crisis.

Draft Rating List confirms fears

The publication of the Draft 2023 Rating List in November confirmed what businesses had been fearing, but also threw up some surprises.

Overall, the total rateable value in England has increased by 7.3%. And whilst values in retail property have, predictably, fallen by approximately 10.4%, industrial rateable values are up by over a quarter (25.6%).

Perhaps the most surprising, however, is the fact that office rateable values have risen by 12.25%.

To counter the overall rise in rateable value, a support package was announced by the Chancellor for businesses at the 2023 Revaluation. But does it go far enough?

Average percentage change in rateable values in the Midlands

Property type

Percentage change









Multiplier frozen

Worth £13.6 billion over the next 5 years, the package includes measures to freeze the business rates multipliers at 49.9p and 51.2p in 2023-24, which, it is claimed, will see bills 6% lower than without the freeze.

Extended and new reliefs

A range of other measures was also announced, including the extension of the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure relief scheme into 2023/24, which has also increased from 50% to 75%. However, this relief is still capped at a maximum of £110,000 per business.

The Transitional Relief Scheme (TR) has been amended following the consultation earlier this year on transitional arrangements that were to be adopted at the 2023 revaluation.
To support ratepayers across England as they transition to their new bills, the 2023 TR scheme will instead fund upwards caps at a cost of £1.6 billion – caps which the Government claim are significantly more generous than in 2017.

Downwards TR has been completely scrapped, this means any reduction is value is passed straight to the ratepayer, as opposed to being phased in.The upwards 30% cap for larger properties (

£100,000RV) will be painful and we envisage this to be an issue for the industrial occupiers in particular.

The best thing you can do is seek professional advice to cross-check for any factual inaccuracies which may have impacted the rateable value of your property, so that this can be regularlised with the VOA.

Adam Barnfield, Head of Business Rates.

More support needed

It is welcome to see that business rates and the challenges of the business community have finally got onto the radar of one of this year’s Chancellors.

Whilst the Government claims that this support package will limit the total increase in business rates bills to less than 1%, compared to over 20% without their intervention, the reality remains to be seen.

The best thing you can do is seek professional advice to cross-check for any factual inaccuracies which may have impacted the rateable value of your property, so that this can be regularlised with the VOA.

This can be done both with future business rates liability in mind, as well as exploring the potential for historical overpayments in rates which may have occurred.

Vail Williams’s business rates experts can help you to understand what the impact of these changes will be on your business, supporting you to reduce your business rates liability.