The Treasury has been criticised for saying it will legislate to "rule out" Covid-related business rates appeals.

Experts said the legal change on appeals would be a "catastrophic blow" for many firms hit by the property tax.

Retail, hospitality and leisure have benefitted from a rates "holiday", which was announced at the start of the crisis.

It will continue until the end of June, with discounts in place until next year.

But many supply chain firms and commercial property owners have been ineligible for much of this support.

The Treasury said those unable to receive rates relief have appealed against their bills as a result, arguing that they have been hit by a "material change of circumstance" due to the pandemic.

But the government will now legislate to "rule out" Covid-19 related appeals. Instead the government will provide a new £1.5bn pot of funding.

It said the money will be distributed to sectors which have "suffered most economically" outside the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors.