UK to slash business rates for hospitality and retail for one year

LONDON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - British finance minister Rishi Sunak said he would cut business rates for one year for the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic such as retail and hospitality, and tweak the system to incentivise green investments.

Business rates are charged on commercial premises such as shops, offices, pubs and warehouses, based on the value of the property. Business owners have complained for years that the system hands an unfair cost advantage to online retailers such as Amazon (AMZN).

Sunak's Treasury department has been reviewing the business rate system, which was suspended during the pandemic for the worst-hit sectors, and he told parliament when presenting his budget that there would be a new 50% business rates discount for businesses such as pubs for one year.

Turning to measures aimed at incentivising green investments he added: "We're introducing a new investment relief to encourage businesses to adopt green technologies like solar panels." (Reporting by David Milliken and Kate Holton; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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