Retailers will have to stump up a further £242m on business rates next year, as September’s retail price index (RPI) – which is used to calculate the rates - rose by 3.2%.
The British Retail Consortium estimates that for every £1 in corporation tax paid by retailers, they will pay £3.44 in business rates, a rise of nearly a pound since 2005.
It claims that 19,670 full time jobs are at risk as a result of potential shop closures and reduced investment.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “Across the country today, retailers are adding up what this increase in the RPI will mean for the cost of their business rates next year. Many will be wondering whether they will be able to stay open.
“At the BRC we have spoken to retailers who will be forced to close shops because of the increase and many that have decided not to open new ones. This tax increase is likely to cost communities across the country 19,670 full time jobs. It is clear that the business rates system is no longer fit-for-purpose. It requires complete reform.”