The Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) has replaced its guidance on business rates relief for retail properties, in England, with a new version.

The guidance has been updated to take into account the announcement in the Autumn Statement that in 2015-16 the government will increase the amount of retail relief for all occupied properties with a rateable value of £50,000 or less (previously the relief was £1,000 and this will increase to £1,500 in 2015-16).

The policy recognises the need to assist the high street retailer in the increasingly competitive online retail environment. How effective this will prove, in the light of the substantial tax and overheads savings being enjoyed by the Internet retail giants, remains to be seen.