Will a Business Rates review make Britain more competitive?

Senior figures in Britain’s retail industry have united to issue another plea to the Government to revamp the business rates system to make the country more competitive.

The lobby groups, which represent more than 100,000 shops and other businesses, and include thee British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), the British Retail Consortium (BRC), the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, the Association of Convenience Stores (ACS) and the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), have written to Chancellor George Osborne, urging him to reduce the burden of business rates rather than implement further cuts in corporation tax following the Brexit vote.

The letter claims that: ‘To make Britain a ‘super competitive economy’, business tax reforms must go beyond cutting corporation tax.

Andy Hulbert

Andrew Hulbert

Andrew Hulbert of Harris Lamb’s Business Rates team said: “Business Rates are seen as a regressive tax: the amount paid by a businesses is largely fixed and is payable regardless of a companies profitability, unlike corporation tax which is only payable when a business makes profit.

“Reductions in the headline rate of corporation tax do nothing to assists small businesses who are struggling with profitability; hence this plea.

“Whilst there is some light at the end of the tunnel with Government’s enhancement of the small business rates scheme, it is unlikely to do anything to help medium or even large businesses that are not making profit.”