// The government urged to cut down business rates to relieve physical retail from the burden
// Retail property body Revo called for business rates to be capped at 30% at the 2023 revaluation
The government has been urged by a retail property association to cut down business rates in England to relieve bricks-and-mortar from the burden.
Retail property body Revo has called for the business rates multiplier to be capped at 30 per cent, down from 51 per cent, at the 2023 revaluation.
The reduction could help retailers save over £3 billion each year.
Revo has also called for the current business rates holiday to be continued for the 2021 to 2022 financial year at 50 per cent and retained the following year ahead of the next revaluation.
It wants the freeze to be extended to empty retail properties.
“Successive governments have failed to deliver on promises to reform business rates, and given the crisis engulfing the high street it really is a case of now or never,” Revo chief executive Vivienne King said.
“For a decade our sector has been calling for reform of the system which does not reflect today’s economy, cannot adjust quickly enough to market conditions and places a disproportionate burden on physical retail, which sustains millions of UK jobs and is the heart of town and cities.
“We need radical action from government to save the high street for future generations.”
Separately, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said on Friday that the UK Government is in “listening mode” after he made a plea for them to extend the business rates holiday for another year.
After the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, business rates for retail, hospitality and leisure businesses in England were halted for the current 2020/21 financial year.
In a joint submission to the government’s business rates review, Khan has joined with local councils in the capital to call for an extension to the 2021/22 financial year.
Khan said: “The indication from the Government is they are in listening mode.
“They’ve seen what countries across Europe have done because we have told them.”
He urged the UK Government to follow countries such as Germany, France and Spain in giving further support to businesses.
“We’ve made our observations quite clear on a cross party basis that these businesses need support,” Khan said.
“And actually, if the government is serious about giving a helping hand to business, the best way to do it, is to support them during this difficult time.”
Raising concerns that thousands of jobs could be lost, the London mayor’s office said on Friday morning that an extension on the business rates holiday would provide support to businesses who have suffered a drop in footfall due to the coronavirus crisis.