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A call from the Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury for the government to extend business rates relief for at least another six months has been welcomed by the NFRN.

Speaking in the House of Commons yesterday this week, Bridget Phillipson MP said what people wanted and needed right now was clarity, and a sign that the government understood and could respond to the needs of businesses and workers who had been placed under pressure through no fault of their own.

Mrs Phillipson also urged the Chancellor to extend the temporary 5% reduced rate of VAT for three months after restrictions are lifted or for another six months, whichever is later; ensure that small businesses can defer paying loans back until they are growing again; as well as extend and reform the furlough scheme so that it lasts whilst restrictions are in place.

Last week, the NFRN called on the government to follow the Scottish parliament’s lead and scrap business rates for 2021/22.

NFRN National President Stuart Reddish said: “Business rates are always a major issue for retailers, but during the Covid pandemic they have become even more significant and will cripple some businesses that are already struggling to survive.

“We welcome Mrs Phillipson’s intervention and hope that her urgings will be acted upon in next month’s Budget.”

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