Business rates bill to soar by £1bn in latest blow for Britain’s hard hit High Street shops
Business rates are set to rise by close to £1billion next year – sparking demands for the hike to be cancelled until the system is reformed.
The jump in the tax on commercial property is based on inflation data for September – which yesterday came in at 3.1 per cent.
This would add £900million to the business rates bill. Property experts called for the uplift to be scrapped, saying businesses recovering from rolling lockdowns should not be subjected to a ‘massive tax raid’.
Rates hike: Property experts called for the planned business rates hike to be scrapped, saying businesses recovering from rolling lockdowns should not be subjected to a ‘massive tax raid’
The High Street is also struggling with labour shortages and supply issues, which threaten to push prices up and leave empty shelves at Christmas.
Jerry Schurder, of Gerald Eve, a property advisory firm, said: ‘British business is being battered by crisis after crisis.
‘The last thing it needs now is a massive tax raid. Business rates are already the highest tax of their type in the world and urgently need root-and-branch reform.
‘An increase will force more businesses to the wall.’
Robert Hayton, of Altus Group, the country’s largest ratings advisory, said: ‘The Chancellor must use the Budget to end the ridiculous policy of increasing the tax rates by inflation. It’s at an unsustainable level.’
Rishi Sunak is said to be considering an online sales tax to level the playing field between tech giants and bricks and mortar retailers.
The policy has the support of big names such as Marks & Spencer, but other retailers believe levying a new tax will simply shift the tax burden from one part of their business to another.