Problems with business rates have never been more apparent. This month, reports have circulated that inflation in England could lead to a £700 million rise in business rates by next Spring, and this week the Labour party even vowed to scrap business rates all together if it wins power. But when will the Government wake up and address the archaic system?
Ultimately, the high street could not cope with an additional £700 million bill to contend with. After a devastating 18 months, the world of bricks and mortar retail is only just getting back on its feet and what it needs instead is better support.
Indeed, according to a recent survey by the British Retail Consortium, 85% of businesses said rates were a key issue for them, with 83% reporting they would have to close some shops if the Government did not make changes.
With the Government’s review of business rates due this Autumn, here’s hoping that they will finally listen to the sector’s pleas. They must recognise the importance of continued relief, streamline the system, and bring more flexibility into the process!
By Martin Davenport, Partner, Hartnell Taylor Cook (Ma[email protected])