BRC says more needs to be done on business rates

Responding to the Conservative announcements on business rates, Tom Ironside, Director of Business & Regulation at the British Retail Consortium, has made comment.

Ironside said, “While we welcome the extension of temporary support for small businesses, these measures need to go much further if they are to enable the successful reinvention of our high streets, particularly as the majority of the UK's 3 million retail workers are employed in businesses that will not benefit from today’s announcement.

“It is essential that the next Government scraps ‘downwards transition’, which costs retailers £1.3bn; freezes next year’s rates increase; and introduces an improvement relief to encourage investment in our high streets. These are vital first steps to support an industry that accounts for 5% of the economy, yet pays 25% of all business rates.'

Ironside concluded, “To ensure the long-term vitality of our town and city centres, the next Government should follow the recommendations of the Treasury Select Committee and commit to wholesale reform of our broken business rates system.”