Chancellor George Osborne has capped business rates in England and Wales at 2 per cent after he delivered the Autumn Statement this morning.
Retailers and trade associations such as the British Retail Consortium have been campaigning for several years for a full review of the system which is widely seen as outdated.
David Atkins, CEO, Hammerson said: “We welcome the Chancellor‘s announcement that rate rises will be limited to 2 per cent. This will provide some much needed respite for retailers. We have seen early signs of confidence returning in the sector and this move will provide further opportunity for reinvestment, allowing the industry to thrive and grow.”
Paul Turner-Mitchell, who is working with Bill Grimsey on his alternative review into the high street, says a 2 per cent capped increase would still mean an increase in business rate taxation £525.94m, of which £122.76m would be paid for by bricks and mortar retail.
Following a FOI request, it was revealed that 262,086 business premises were summoned to appear before a magistrate in 2012. Of those businesses, 131,574 would have been referred to Bailiffs for collection.
Additional new measures include an extension of small business rate relief – worth around £500m.
Forecasts for GDP growth will be raised sharply over the next couple of years, according to Capital Economics.