Government must fix ‘broken’ business rates system, say MPs

Houses of Parliament

A Treasury committee report has called on the government to fix the “broken” business rates system as it is outpacing inflation and places a greater cost on high street shops than online businesses.

The report, published today by a cross-party committee of MPs, said since 1990 the revenues generated by business rates in the UK have outpaced inflation. It said the government should “acknowledge this and explain whether it is government policy to allow the growth in business rates to outpace inflation”.

The committee also made plain that the “unfair system places a greater cost on high street shops and sectors like manufacturing than it does on online businesses” and the “complex web of reliefs show that current business rates system is broken”.

On reliefs, it called on the Treasury to review all business rates reliefs to ensure they remain necessary.

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