Retail business rates to increase by £137m

Oxford Street

The BRC has warned that retailers face a £137m business rates hike from next April based on the latest figures from the government’s consumer price index (CPI), which will pile more pressure on the sector.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reported that in the 12 months to September 2019, the CPI increased 1.7%. The September CPI figure determines business rate rises for the following financial year.

In response, the BRC said the increase will “reduce the ability of retailers to invest in their business, their staff and shops” and called on the chancellor to take action on business rates at the upcoming budget.

BRC property policy adviser Dominic Curran said: “Today’s CPI announcement means retailers will have to cough up an extra £137m from April. Already, while retail accounts for 5% of the economy, it pays a massive 25% of all business rates.”

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