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 don’t reflect that. There has been a disincentive for traders to operate on the high street.”

“We’re 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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