New Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been urged to act on business rates, as the equivalent of a 10% increase next year threatens the survival of many retail businesses.


The BRC has called on incoming PM Rishi Sunak to address business rates as a matter of urgency

Former chancellor Rishi Sunak is set to meet King Charles today and be confirmed as the next Prime Minister of the UK, just months after he lost out in the last Conservative leadership election to Liz Truss. 

However, despite the rampantly inflationary environment in which she entered office, Truss pushed ahead with her disastrous mini-budget, which sent markets into meltdown and crashed the pound. After a series of subsequent, humiliating climbdowns, Truss has now stepped down from office and is set to depart as the UK’s shortest-serving Prime Minister. 

She leaves the former chancellor with a weakened economy and a fiscal black hole in need of filling. While Sunak will have plenty on his to-do list, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has called on him to address business rates reforms as he promised while at No.11 Downing Street

BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said: “We congratulate Rishi Sunak on becoming Conservative Party Leader and the next Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He takes office during one of the most challenging economic periods consumers have known. With consumer confidence at historically low levels, he will need to provide certainty to households and support them through the cost-of-living crisis.”

“Retailers are playing their part in supporting their customers, shielding them from the worst of rising costs resulting from a weaker pound, tight labour market and war in Ukraine.

“However, these efforts are threatened by the £800m bombshell of additional business rates that will hit retailers in April – a 10% rise that far outstrips sales growth over the last year.

“To support consumers at this difficult time, government should freeze business rates and reform the broken transitional relief system, or it will be households that pay through higher prices.”