The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has joined forces with other industries to tackle the issue of burdensome business rates.
The retail trade body has been speaking to representatives from the leisure sector, other high street businesses and manufacturers to strengthen its calls for the Government to reform the system, which retailers believe is outdated and unfair.
The BRC has found that retailers and manufacturers are disincentivised from improving buildings because they fear they may incur higher business rates charges by increasing property values.
BRC director of corporate affairs Amanda Callaghan said: “The current system is full of discincentives to investment.For example, where a building could be renovated to improve energy efficiency a business may be put off doing it because the rateable value would rise and may cancel out energy savings.”
She said that could also apply when retailers are improving their stores through refits and refurbishments.
The BRC will include the issue in its response to the Government’s consultation into the administration of the business rates system.
Callaghan also revealed that the BRC has delayed publishing the next phase of its work on business rates with EY and Sainsbury’s chief financial officer John Rogers until the end of June, when the Government’s consultation has ended. It had been expected in May.