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Government opens business rates consultation

The Government is calling for retailers to give their thoughts on the current business rates regime with the launch of a discussion paper today.

Stakeholders have until June 6 to respond to the 34-page document, which sets out the current system and poses several questions to guide its future policy for long-term reform.

These include whether rates should still be based on rental property values or whether adopting ‘zones’ may be more appropriate; how often revaluations should take place and how rates are collected.

Retailers are also being asked whether they need more information from Government on how the final business rate bill is reached, and whether stakeholders are sufficiently aware of rate relief already available.

Responses should be sent by email to businessrates.review@hmtreasury.gsi.gov.uk

Led by the British Retail Consortium and several other trade bodies, the industry has long called for reform of the current system, with several businesses – including recently Base Menswear, Duffer and Core – blaming rates for their ultimate demise.

The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee last month demanded a “fundamental reform”.

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