Shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey has called for "immediate" relief to prevent thousands of companies going out of business.Read the full story ›
Some small businesses face increases of as much as 300%, which business owners say could signal the end of the High Street.Read the full story ›
Mike Coupe has joined business groups and retail experts in criticising the government's planned business rates reform.Read the full story ›
The British Retail Consortium (BRC). said it hoped the proposals would stimulate debate on reform that "goes beyond tinkering with the existing system".
Business groups have long argued that the current framework of rates discourages investment and is desperately in need of modernisation.
We have a once in a generation chance to fundamentally change the business rates system and the time is right to think creatively and in the best long term economic interests of the UK.
These potential options would be good for the public, the economy and businesses small and large, while still providing significant tax revenues for the Government.
The BRC proposals include: shifting the basis for taxing property by replacing the current system with a tax based on other measures, such as energy usage; and rewarding job creation by offering a discount on the rates bill.
A new business rates system that supports job creation and helps revive struggling high streets should be brought in to replace the current "outdated and cumbersome" framework, ministers were told.
The system could also be re-designed to encourage energy efficiency by basing payments on energy usage, according to the plans from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
They have been produced by members of the BRC together with accountants Ernst & Young ahead of a discussion document on business rates due to be published by the Government in the spring.