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Revo calls for Budget business rates cap

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Retail property organisation Revo has urged the government to bring in a 2% cap on the inflationary rise in business rates in the upcoming Budget.

September’s Retail Price Index inflation figure, which was confirmed at 3.9%, is estimated to lead to a £1.1bn rise in business rates from April 2018.

The organisation stressed that a 2% cap needed to be put in place to protect businesses facing this increase, so that they can avoid “further misery” next year.

Revo has also called for measures to encourage growth, productivity and investment, including a commitment to help identify and deliver small scale transport and infrastructure initiatives across the country, and more flexibility in the apprenticeship levy scheme.

Ed Cooke, chief executive of Revo, said: “The Chancellor should commit, without further delay, to measures to support the retail property and placemaking sector if we are to protect our built environment and our high streets.

“Business rates are already the highest property tax in the OECD, deterring investment and expansion, as well as failing the fundamental test of fairness. The latest RPI rise compounds the challenge facing business.

“Failure to act could threaten the commercial viability of our towns, cities and communities just as the acute challenges created by European withdrawal, a precarious retail market, and online competition coalesce into a perfect storm.”

Business rates is one of the top Budget priorities for multiples and independent retailers, in addition to measures to help boost consumer confidence.

Property agency Colliers has also called for reform in relation to an “unfair, punitive and unworkable” business rates system.

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