Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has branded the chancellor’s new business rates holiday “near worthless” for larger firms and is an obstacle to it taking on old Debenhams shops. The Sports Direct and House of Fraser owner said the £2m limit on the amount of relief a company can claim means it will have to review all its stores to find any that may no longer be viable, due to the “unrealistic” levy. In his budget on Wednesday Rishi Sunak extended the holiday on business rates, a tax which all shops and pubs must pay, until the end of June. Live COVID updates from the UK and around the world Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player Sunak’s tax announcements The original assistance package was due to run out at the end of March. Advertisement The chancellor said that for the rest of the financial year after June rates would remain discounted by two thirds, up to a value of £2m if businesses are closed. But the cap shuts out many larger businesses, including Mr Ashley’s Frasers Group, and has disappointed those hoping for a shake-up of the system. More from Mike Ashley Mike Ashley hires leading lawyers… Read full this story
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