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Business

Published on September 14th, 2017 | by The GC Team

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Retailers face £280 million hike in business rates

The British Retail Consortium has warned that retailers are facing a £280 million rise in rates from next April as Retail Price Inflation has shot upwards due to rising food prices.    

Given that the rate of inflation accelerated to 3.9% in August, September’s RPI is likely to be at least 4% the BRC believes. The increase will push up business rates for retailers across the nation.

Tom Ironside, Director of Business Regulation at the BRC, said: “It is highly questionable whether communities across the UK can afford a spike in business rates of this scale, and any resulting loss of commercial investment will contribute to fewer shops and fewer jobs.

“Nearly one in every 10 shops currently lies vacant, and those in economically vulnerable communities in particular remain persistently empty, limiting the chances for these places to thrive.

 “With the economy slowing, consumer spending facing headwinds, and retailers responding to profound changes in shopping habits, the prospect of a further investment-sapping tax rise of this magnitude is deeply worrying and will only serve to make life tougher for high streets.”

Ironside added that the Government should knock on the head any notion of a bumper rise in rates next spring and work with the retail industry and business to put the rates system on a more affordable and sustainable footing.

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