Retailers across the UK could face an extra business rates hike of £280 million next year, which could mean “fewer shops and fewer jobs”.
Commercial property tax is poised for another revaluation in April and will be calculated using September’s retail price index (RPI), which has risen due to the fall in the pound’s value and rising inflation.
According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the RPI is set to rise four per cent this month, driving a potential £280 million rise in business rates for retailers.
This comes after yesterday’s news that one small business owner a week is sent to prison for failing to make business rates payments on time, as the industry struggles to keep up with last year’s rates rise. This is likely to be exacerbated in April.
“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,” BRC director of business regulation Tom Ironside said.
“Nearly one in every 10 shops currently lies vacant and those in economically-vulnerable communities in particular remain persistently empty, limiting the changes for these places to thrive.”