By reading this article, you will, at least in one sense, cease to be affected by its subject. There’s no need to close your eyes and blindly click for the "back" button, though, as the financial benefits of the Small Business Rate Relief (Automatic Payment) Bill would still come through.
This bill was created by the Federation of Small Businesses to make sure that UK companies are helped by rate relief payments whether they know enough to apply for them or not. A statement explains, "According to the Local Government Association (LGA) 400 million was left unclaimed by businesses entitled to rate relief in 2006. The LGA estimates that the relief can save businesses up to 2,500 a year."
This is a rather big deal for businesses that were in the dark, then. And businesses that were already on top of things can at least look forward to saving a little time and ink they had to spend on paperwork.
Peter Luff, Conservative MP for Mid Worcestershire and Chairman of the Business and Enterprise committee, intends to put the bill forward, so it seems to have a reasonable chance of becoming standard practice. An added bonus: Wales made rate relief automatic in 2007, so there’s a precedent.
Spread the word if you want. Not that it’s necessary for the rate relief, of course, but in the event the bill could use additional support.