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Britain scraps business rates for small firms in 2020

LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) - British finance minister Rishi Sunak scrapped business rates for small firms in an "exceptional step" to help them deal with the disruption caused by the outbreak of coronavirus.

"Our manifesto promised that for shops, cinemas, restaurants, and music venues with a rateable value of less than 51,000 pounds we would increase their business rates retail discount to 50%," Sunak told parliament, delivering the annual budge.

"Today I can go further and take the exceptional step for this coming year of abolishing their business rates altogether." (Reporting by Andrew MacAskill; editing by Kate Holton)