Business rates burden remains
JEREMY Hunt’s failure to tackle the business rates burden was ‘desperately disappointing’, bosses warned.
The Chancellor faced calls to reform the tax charged on shops, pubs and other business properties based on rental value. Critics say it disproportionately falls on those with a presence in town and city centres, while online players face lower bills.
But Hunt made no changes as retailers warned it remains a burden.
Helen Dickinson, at the British retail Consortium, said: ‘rates must be paid in full whether firms are making a profit or loss. This makes business rates the final nail in the coffin for many; shutting shops, costing jobs and preventing openings.’
The Government has promised a review, but despite some changes to the tax, Dickinson said ‘further reform is needed’.
Business rates expert John Webber said: ‘The lack of decisive action is desperately disappointing and will have wider implications for the overall property markets.’