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The Rating (Coronavirus) and Directors Disqualification (Dissolved Companies) Bill 2021-22 had its first reading in the House of Commons on 12 May 2021.

The Bill would limit the degree to which the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic can be cited as grounds for altering rateable values in the business rates system; and would make it easier for the Government to investigate misconduct by directors of dissolved companies.

Second Reading is scheduled for 28 June 2021. The Bill, and its explanatory notes, are on Parliament’s website.

The Bill consists of four clauses. Clause 1 would prevent many appeals against rateable values, in the business rates system, that are made on the grounds that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic comprises a ‘material change in circumstances’.

Clauses 2 and 3 would amend existing legislation to make it easier for the Government to investigate misconduct by directors of dissolved companies.

Clause 4 covers the extent and commencement of the Bill.

Territorial extent

Business rates are devolved to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Clause 1 extends to England and Wales but has effect in England only.

Company law matters are reserved to the UK Parliament so Clause 2 extends to England, Wales and Scotland. Clause 3 makes equivalent amendments for Northern Ireland, for which a legislative consent motion has been sought.


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