Business pushes for rates reform
The CBI has backed the FSB’s call for urgent reform of business rates in this month’s Budget. The FSB’s ‘Budget wishlist’ demands an end to the “staircase tax”, a commitment to more frequent rates revaluations and linking rates bills to a lower measure of inflation. Warning of a decline in optimism among SME manufacturers, Alpesh Paleja, the CBI’s principal economist, said: “The chancellor should use the budget to fire up factories by reforming business rates and setting out a clear plan to bring the UK’s industrial strategy to life.” Meanwhile, the British Retail Consortium has warned high street firms face paying an additional £270m in business rates next year. Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the BRC, called for a Budget freeze on business rates in order to encourage investment. Separately, the Sun reports that over a third of councils have yet to hand out any relief from the £300m hardship fund to firms hit by rates hikes.
Source: The Times (01/11/2017)