Butchers to benefit in Budget

Chancellor Alistair Darling has pledged a one-off business rate cut for 12 months in the government's Budget, a move that is expected to markedly benefit the high street butcher.

Douglas Scott, chief executive of the Scottish Federation of Meat Traders Association, welcomed the cut: Rateable values in traditional shopping areas have been too high for too long because the focus of retailing has gone out of town yet the business rates dont reflect that. There has been a disincentive for traders to operate on the high street.

Were hugely encouraged by the removal of rates, added a spokesperson for the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). With smaller businesses struggling and with the rate a major obstacle to profitability for them on the high street in particular, this is a very significant development.

As many as 345,000 small businesses are expected to be affected by the ruling, planned to come into force in October. Business rates currently form the third-highest outlay for small businesses, according to the FSB.

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