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Osborne freezes fuel duty and caps business rate rises

Chancellor George Osborne has announced that fuel duty will continue to be frozen in 2014 and business rate rises capped in a boost to business.

Speaking during the autumn statement, the chancellor said that he would “help to ease the burden” on businesses caused by business rates.

He revealed that the inflation increase in business rates would be capped.

He said: “All businesses are expecting rates to rise by 3.2 per cent next year. Instead, I will cap the inflation increase in business rates for all premises at 2 per cent from next April.

“We will also allow businesses to pay their rates in 12-monthly instalments and clear almost all of the backlog of valuation appeals by July 2015, with reform of business rates on the agenda for the 2017 revaluation.”

The government’s rate relief scheme will be extended for another year from April 2014 and rules will be relaxed that discourage firms from expanding and opening extra premises.

Mr Osborne also promised to cancel next year’s rise in fuel duty, freezing it instead.

He said: “Today I can report that because we have taken difficult decisions to control the public finances, I can deliver on that promise.

“Next year’s fuel duty rise will be cancelled. Instead of petrol taxes going up by 2p a litre, they will stay frozen.”

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