The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond will use today’s Budget to announce a £1.5bn package of support for the High Street, including £900m in business rate relief, according to new reports.
It’s suggested that the relief package will knock up to a third of the bills of nearly 500,000 small businesses while the final package will also include a pot of £650 million to rejuvenate the high streets and their transport links.
The Chancellor is expected to deliver the Budget at 3.30pm today where further details will be revealed about the introduction of an ‘Amazon tax’, a UK tax on the revenues of big digital companies to help rebalance the playing field between physical and online retailers.
Hammond went on record to state that UK high streets “have to change” as a result of the lean towards online shopping in recent years. He has called for ‘help to evolve the high street and the high street of the future’, one which he believes ‘will have fewer retail outlets and more leisure destinations, more food and drink outlets.’
“I expect the high streets of the future will be smaller with more of the areas around them redeveloped as housing,” he said.