11 Business Groups Call on Government for Rates Reform

A group of organisations representing over 100,000 businesses has written to all MPs expressing concern about the impact that changes to business rates will have on their members in April.

The letter highlights the issues that thousands of businesses are facing as a result of the revaluation, with many due to receive significant increases in their rates bills.

The group is calling for action in the following areas:

  • Changing the system so that it incentivises business to invest instead of deterring them
  • Increasing the frequency of revaluations to deliver more accurate rates bills
  • Ensuring that businesses can receive a fair hearing when their rating assessments are incorrect
  • Reducing the overall burden on businesses through effective transitional relief and linking the multiplier to CPI before 2020

The letter states: “The future of business rates is a key priority for us and we want to work with the Government to deliver meaningful reform. We want to see action from the Chancellor in the Budget to ease the burden on businesses that will see an increase in their rates bills but also a longer-term commitment from the Government to review property taxation in the UK.”

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “There are still fundamental problems with the rates system which we’ve seen come to light as business owners face their new bills from April. The current system discourages investment for many business types, as any improvement to that business results in an increase to their rates bill. We are encouraging the Government to take action in this area ahead of the Budget, as well as looking at the appropriateness of separate rating schemes for businesses like petrol forecourts which are seeing rates increases of up to 150%.”

Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive, British Retail Consortium said: “In the forthcoming Budget, retailers will hope to see commitment from the Government to ease the burden across the board by bringing forward the switch from RPI indexation to CPI so that rates better reflect economic conditions. In addition, the Chancellor should take the opportunity to ensure businesses large and small receive business rates reductions following the revaluation immediately, and implement the same protections for those facing large increases that were in place during the last revaluation in 2010.”

Melanie Leech, Chief Executive, British Property Federation added: “At this stage, the Government can immediately support businesses by making sure the appeals system is fair and not stacked against them. Current proposals to limit the ability of tribunals to correct excessive business rates assessments should be dropped.”

The signatories to the letter are:

  • James Lowman, Chief Executive (Association of Convenience Stores)
  • Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive (Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers)
  • Brigid Simmonds OBE, Chief Executive (British Beer and Pub Association)
  • Mike Spicer, Director of Research and Economics (British Chambers of Commerce)
  •  Ufi Ibrahim, CEO (British Hospitality Association)
  • Melanie Leech CBE, Chief Executive (British Property Federation)
  • Helen Dickinson OBE, Chief Executive (British Retail Consortium)
  •  Josh Hardie, Deputy Director General (Confederation of British Industry)
  • Ross Murray, President (Country Land and Business Association)
  • Martin McTague, National Policy Director (Federation of Small Businesses)
  • Edward Cooke, Chief Executive (Revo)

The full letter is available here: http://bit.ly/ratesletter


This entry was posted by Chris on Wed, 22/02/2017 - 16:44