Retail industry calls for business rates cut

The leading trade association for the retail sector has urged the chancellor to deliver a cut to business rates in his upcoming Autumn budget.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that cutting the tax would “unlock the industry’s contribution to the economic recovery from the pandemic.”

The association also asked the government to stand by its manifesto commitment to “cut the burden of tax on business by reducing business rates,” saying that business rates have contributed to the loss of shops and retail jobs for years.

Earlier this week, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves announced that if Labour wins the next election, it will cut and eventually scrap business rates to replace them with a new system “fit for the 21st century” and impose higher taxes on BigTech retailers like Amazon.

“The evidence is clear: business rates are costing shops and jobs and undermining the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda,” said Helen Dickinson, chief executive, BRC. “Retail is the UK’s largest private sector employer and serves as a vital lifeline to places most in need of levelling up, offering flexible jobs, supporting other businesses on the high street, and breathing life into local communities.

“The business rates review is a great opportunity for Government to put the ‘shops tax’ into reverse, and support investment and growth in the regions that need them the most.”

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