PRA urges Treasury to clarify new small business rates relief scheme

The Petrol Retailers’ Association (PRA) is seeking urgent confirmation from the Treasury that petrol filling stations (PFS) will be eligible for small business rates relief announced in the Budget. This request comes after some confusion in the 2013 Budget, when the Treasury did not specifically include PFS as one of the eligible business categories. The PRA had to intervene to obtain formal confirmation that, subject to State Aid de minimis limits and the rates threshold, the discount scheme was applicable.

The PRA has written to John Glen MP, the Economic Secretary at the Treasury, to point out the 40 per cent decline in the number of operational PFS across the UK since 2001 – predominantly in the independent sector.

PFS owners have developed their shop offers to include convenience items such as fresh food, alcohol and ready-to-eat products which are mirrored by other High Street retailers.

Brian Madderson, chairman of the Petrol Retailers Association (PRA). adds: “PFS compete with numerous smaller businesses in the high streets such as corner shops, pubs and cafes. It would be seriously anti-competitive for the Government to provide rates relief for these enterprises without also including PFS, who provide such a wide-ranging service to consumers.”

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