// Business rates confirmed to rise 1.7% in April
// This means retailers face a £137m increase in bills, the BRC says
// The Chancellor has been urged to scrap the rates increase in the Autumn Budget
Retailers are bracing for bills to increase over £130 million next year after it was confirmed that business rates would rise by 1.7 per cent.
According to the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the business rates increase – which is based on the Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) figure for September that was revealed today – means businesses will be slugged with an additional £536.03 million to the overall gross business rates burden next year.
Of that total, retailers are expected to shoulder a £136.92 million increase in business rates despite the ongoing high street crisis, according to real estate firm Altus Group.
- New business rates law scrapped due to parliament shut down
- £115m of refunds denied in “cumbersome” business rates appeal system
- Bailiffs sent to 310 premises each day for business rates arrears
The BRC and Altus Group have now urged Chancellor Sajid Javid to scrap rates increase in the Autumn Budget.
The Chancellor will outline the government’s financial policy on November 6, less than a weak after the UK’s scheduled exit from the EU.
Standard business rates in England rose to 50.4p on April 1 for the current financial year.
This marked first time the tax rate for business rates in England has gone above 50 per cent.
When the national business rates system was introduced in 1990, the multiplier was set at 34.8p.
UK retailers, including Tesco, have criticised the level of business rates as the UK retail sector continues to face rising cost pressures.
BRC property policy adviser Dominic Curran said: “The Chancellor must take action on rates in the forthcoming budget and scrap ‘downwards transition’, which takes £1.3 billion from retailers and uses most of it to subsidise rates in other industries.
“Meanwhile, with the retail industry facing store closures and jobs losses, the Government should freeze the impending business rates increase.”
The news comes after the government’s decision to shut down Parliament meant a new law aimed at easing pressure on the struggling high street was scrapped last week.
The legislation was aimed to ensure business rates bills for all commercial premises would be reassessed every three years, rather than the current five-year period.
Altus Group UK expert services president Alex Probyn said: “The compound effect of annual inflationary rises are completely unsupportive of UK businesses.
“Businesses want and expect the Chancellor to deliver a pro-business Autumn Budget amid these uncertain times and Sajid Javid could do that, in part, by being the first Chancellor in history to scrap the inflationary rise next year.”