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Lords debates non-domestic ratings bills

19 January 2021


Members of the Lords discussed the key principles of the Non-Domestic Rating (Lists) (No. 2) Bill and the Non-Domestic Rating (Public Lavatories) Bill, in a joint second reading debate, on Monday 18 January.

The purpose of these bills is to postpone the next revaluation for business rates in England and Wales by a year to 1 April 2023, and to introduce a 100% mandatory business rates relief for public lavatories in England and Wales.

Members dicussed a range of subjects highlighted by the bills, including the accessibility of public toilets, environmental standards and the privatisation of public services.

Lord Greenhalgh (Conservative), Minister of State in the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government), opened the debates and respond on behalf of the government.

Speakers taking part include:

Non-Domestic Rating (Lists) (No. 2) Bill

This bill implements commitments made by the Government on 21 July 2020 to ensure the next business rates revaluation takes effect from 1 April 2023.

This replaces previous legislation seeking to bring revaluation forward to April 2021, which was not progressed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The new revaluation will be based on property values as of 1 April 2021 so that it better reflects the impact of COVID-19.

The Bill also moves the latest date by which draft rateable values must be published, from 30 September to 31 December preceding the new list coming into force, in both England and Wales.

Non-Domestic Rating (Public Lavatories) Bill

This Bill implements the commitments made by the Chancellors of the Exchequer in the Budget 2018 and Budget 2020 to introduce a 100% mandatory business rates relief for public lavatories.

The bill reduces the cost of running public lavatories by amending part 3 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 to ensure that, in relation to an inherited property consisting wholly or mainly of a public lavatory, the chargeable amount will be zero.

Committee stage, the first chance for line by line examination, is yet to be scheduled for either bill.

Image: Creative Commons