Your browser is no longer supported. For the best experience of this website, please upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Government ponders business rates rethink

The Treasury is considering ways to reduce the burden of business rates as pressure from retailers grows ahead of this month’s Budget.

Treasury Minister David Gauke has written to the British Retail Consortium confirming he will look at redefining how rate increases are measured, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Gauke is considering whether to raise rates in line with the Consumer Prices Index rather than the higher Retail Prices Index.

The BRC and Retail Week’s Fair Rates for Retail campaign calls on Government to freeze business rates this year, which threatens to add £175m to their bills this year.

Retailers have had to pay an additional £500m in business rates as a result of two consecutive years of onerous rates rises.

Chancellor George Osborne has come under increasing pressure to address the issue in his Budget, which is due later this month as bricks-and-mortar retailers compete with online retailers paying less tax.

Kingfisher chief executive and BRC chairman Ian Cheshire said today that, were it not for long-term leases, he would close a quarter of the DIY retailer’s stores due to the tax burden, The Guardian reported.

He said: “We do pay our taxes [for the] public good. But online retailers are not facing the same tax take. For the Treasury, there is a danger that their tax base is going to disappear.”

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions. Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.