Labour: Business rates are a “ticking time bomb”
Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, has said business rates are a “ticking time bomb” for small companies in England which should be offered emergency help. She said many firms faced “cliff-edge” rises when new valuations take effect in April and that the process had been mishandled. Ms Long-Bailey added: “It cannot be right for smaller town centre retailers to be facing massive hikes while the Amazons of this world have their business rates cut.” Labour said it would introduce a fund worth £150m a year for the next three years for SMEs at risk of bankruptcy due to “sharp and unmanageable” increases. Mike Cherry, the national chairman of the FSB, said business rates were an outdated tax. He stated: “The FSB is keen for all political parties to help those small firms hardest-hit by the current revaluation, and to start to focus on fundamental longer-term reform of business rates to make sure it"s fair for small firms.” A survey from the FSB found that 36% of small firms expect to see their rates increase, with 44% expecting their bills to eventually rise by more than £1,000 a year. Some 55% of those facing increases plan to reduce, postpone or cancel investment.
Source: BBC News (27/02/2017)