Just tiny Amber Valley Council and Tandridge in Surrey have released any cash from the Budget Day money.
ONLY TWO councils in 99 have paid out money from the Chancellor’s £300 million business rate relief fund – in FIVE MONTHS.
The Government was accused of rank “incompetence” as it emerged just tiny Amber Valley Council in Derbyshire and Tandridge in Surrey have released any cash from the Budget Day money.
Freedom of Information requests reveal other councils across the UK are either waiting for sign-off from town halls or are trying to implement software upgrades so they can allocate the funds.
It means just £197,000 has been paid to small firms battling to stay in business as rates go through the roof.
The £300million pot was unveiled by Chancellor Philip Hammond in March after an outcry from MPs over eye-watering rate hikes hitting firms.
A revaluation of business rates for 2017 left some firms facing hikes of as much as 3,000 per cent.
The Government’s own analysis earlier this year admitted business rates in Theresa May’s constituency would go up by 10 per cent, while thousands of pubs faced average hikes of 13 per cent.
The fund was set up so councils could provide “discretionary” relief to companies in their patch. The Chancellor separately announced 90 per cent of pubs would get a £1,000 discount on their bills.
Mike Cherry, the Federation of Small Business chair, said: “Implementation of Government plans to mitigate the impact of April’s business rates revaluation has been a total shambles.
“We’re tired of excuses.”
Lib Dem leader Vince Cable yesterday accused the government of “crippling businesses through its incompetence”.