British Retailers Demand Business Tax Reforms: BRC
More than 50 high street retailers have urged the British government to 'fix the broken business rates system'.
The letter, coordinated by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and addressed to Chancellor Sajid Javid, was signed by major supermarkets, fashion outlets, and established high street chains.
It proposed four 'fixes' that would help address many challenges faced by retailers.
These include a freeze on the increase in business rates, fixing transitional relief, and the introduction of ‘Improvement Relief’ for ratepayers.
Retailers also called on the government to ensure that the current valuation agency is fully resourced to carry out the task of monitoring the rates system.
'An Important Step'
Chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, Helen Dickinson OBE, said, "These four fixes would be an important step to reform the broken business rates system which holds back investment, threatens jobs and harms our high streets.
"The new Government has an opportunity to unlock the full potential of retail in the UK, and the Prime Minister’s economic package provides a means to do so."
Retail is the largest private-sector employer in the UK, providing jobs to approximately three million people.
"Retail accounts for 5% of the economy yet pays 25% of all business rates – this disparity is damaging our high streets and harming the communities they support," Dickinson added.
According to the latest BRC-Springboard data, the number of empty shops in Britain hit its highest level in four years in July.
© 2019 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Dayeeta Das. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.