Following the announcement made by the Chancellor today in the Spring Statement to hold a short-term review of the business rates system, our Chairman Sir Peter Rogers has made the following comment:
“As high street businesses continue to suffer from the unfairness of the business rate system, we are pleased that the Chancellor has initiated a short-term review of this tax to look at marginal changes to the existing system.
“A year ago, the Chancellor also announced he would examine how online retailing should pay its fair share of local tax and we are still waiting for this.
“But these reviews do not go far enough. Britain is alone in relying so much on property tax to fund its council services. It is clearly an outdated system, not fit for the twenty first century. We urge all parties to look seriously at wider wholesale reform of local business taxes to ensure that they are fair and provide the funding that our vital council services require.
“Shops and restaurants are struggling with falling income and increased costs and more and more businesses are closing. The massive 80% rise in business rates in London’s West End has had a severe knock-on effect across the whole country as retail and restaurant chains look to cut costs elsewhere. It is vital that this tax, which disproportionately hits high street businesses, is now looked at seriously.”
His comment was picked up in trade publication Retail Gazette. To read the full piece click here.