BRC: retail industry could face “severe consequences” over rise in business rates

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Retailers could be left footing an additional £190 million in business rates after inflation hit a six month high in August of 2.7 per cent.

The British Retail Consortium has warned retailers that if the Consumer Price Index (CPI) figure remains the same for this month, retailers will have to pay an extra £190 million in total for their annual business rates bill from April 2019.

It’s thought the government will announce that business rates will be calculated from the ONS CPI figure instead of the Retail Prices Index (RPI) as part of its upcoming autumn Budget.

The retail industry currently pays out £7 billion a year in business rates, which the BRC are campaigning to reduce to help promote growth on the high street.

“These figures would mean severe consequences for the retail industry, which is under significant pressure as it goes through a prolonged and radical period of transformation,” said BRC director of business and regulation Tom Ironside.

“Business rates are leading to store closures and hindering the successful reinvention of high streets.”

Ironside added: “Ministers need to act to address this £190m increase in retailers’ already unsustainable business rates bill.”

“In his autumn Budget, the chancellor needs to take action and freeze the business rates multiplier until the next revaluation to help save shops, protect jobs, and preserve high streets, and to give the Government time to work with industry to reform the business rates system and make it fit for purpose in the 21st century”.

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