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Published on October 19th, 2017 | by The GC Team


Business rates rise poses threat to UK high streets

The BRC is calling on the Government to freeze business rates after September’s RPI, which will be used to determine next year’s business rates, stood at almost 4%, meaning retailers and other firms will face a rates rise twice as large as last year.

Retailers alone will be hit with an extra £270 million in tax next April.

Helen Dickinson OBE, BRC Chief Executive, said the consequences of the RPI figures could be severe for many shops in a precarious position and struggling to survive and urged the Chancellor to “get a grip” on the matter. 

“Consumers, already seeing household incomes eroded, will face further misery as the pound in their pocket buys them less at the checkout.

“For retailers, this will be compounded if UK Ministers fail to act and stem the hefty near 4% rise in business rates, which is set to add an extra quarter of a billion pounds to retailers’ already unreasonable business rates burden.” 

For many shops this may be the last straw, Dickinson added.

“Across the country, especially in economically deprived and vulnerable communities, the cost of failing to take action will likely be seen in yet more empty shops and gap-toothed high streets.

“There are also other risks. Those shops who continue to trade may look to pass this extra rates cost onto hard-pressed consumers.

“Ministers mustn’t bury their heads in the sand. In his Budget next month, the Chancellor needs to get a grip on the matter and rule out a rise in business rates to help save shops, protect jobs, and preserve high streets.”

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