Pressure is building on Government to do something to level the playing field for bricks and mortar retailers vs e-tail. Retail shops may not vote or lobby their MPs but they are an invaluable part of what binds our towns and communities together. Time to recognise it before it's too late.
UK ministers are facing fresh calls to reform business rates, with an industry trade body demanding a two-year freeze and a town centre policy review describing them as “an outdated and unfair tax” on retail companies that should be scrapped. Business rates raise about £30bn for the Treasury each year, of which £8bn is paid by retailers. They are based on “ratable values” calculated every five years according to shop rental values, and a multiplier that rises annually in line with inflation. The British Retail Consortium wants the multiplier frozen at its current level for two years, pending a wider discussion of business taxation across all industries. Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said there was now a cacophony of voices calling for reform.