Looming increases in business rates could threaten the ability of retailers to create jobs, the BRC warned today.

The BRC has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government to demand an alternative method to the September RPI inflation figure to calculate next year’s rises in business rates. It says some retailers could face increases in their bills of 22% next April.

The rises could be so high because the annual rates increase - which comes into force next April - is based on the Septmber RPI figure, which is expected to be above 4%. In addition, many shops will also lose the transitional relief that they have benefited from since this year’s revaluation.

BRC director general Stephen Robertson called for the government to use an alternative method of calculating the increase, such as using the CPI inflation rate rather than RPI, or using a 12 month average RPI rate instead. Longer term, he called for a permanent move to a different and more predictable way of working out business rates.