PPA has written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak calling for the full business rates holiday currently afforded to retail, hospitality, and leisure properties to be expanded to encompass magazine and business media publishers.
As England entered a second national lockdown, PPA repeated earlier calls for business rate relief for the sector, stating “following instruction from government… publishers have now had their entire staff working from home for the best part of nine months, with additional costs to support home working and the wellbeing of people working remotely. The high fixed costs of business rates, a tax on currently empty office space, is yet another hit to publishers’ financial resilience.”
In a separate submission to the Government’s Review of Business Rates earlier this year, the PPA called for Government to retain and expand the local newspaper business rates relief introduced in 2017, to include all independent publishers. The current scheme, which benefits those properties used as office premises for journalists and reporters on a local newspaper, provides a £1,500 rates discount.
The Scottish Government has already introduced rate relief for some publishers, following a cross-party amendment to its Coronavirus Support Bill, however only newspaper publishers are within scope. PPA continues to lobby the Scottish Government for an extension of scope to include all publishers, acknowledging the delivery of high-quality journalism is not exclusive the newspapers and magazine media plays a valuable role in providing communities with news, information and entertainment.