The British Retail Consortium has joined forces with other business and retail groups by calling on the Chancellor to reform business rates in order to stimulate the UK economy in light of the Brexit vote.
The lobby groups co-signed a letter to George Osborne urging him to evaluate business rates, rather than push ahead with cuts in corporation tax, to help make the UK economy more competitive amdist the ecomonic downturn from the EU referendum result.
The British Retail Consortium’s co-signatories include the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). Together, they represent an estimated 100,000 shops and businesses.
Business rates are expected to bring in an all-time high of £23.5 billion from companies this year thanks to plans to increase it by £400 million.
“Britain has the highest non-domestic property taxes in Europe, which acts as a brake on investment for all businesses looking to invest in the UK,” the letter reads.
“To make Britain a ‘super competitive economy‘ business tax reforms must go beyond cutting corporation tax.”
The letter also urges Osborn to accelerate the change from using the retail prices index as a benchmark for business rates to the more common consumer prices index, and to simplify assessments for small businesses.
Business rates are paid on non-residential properties, such as retail outlets. It has not been reviewed since 2010.