William Eichler 12 November 2019

Reform ‘broken’ business rates system, retailers say

Reform ‘broken’ business rates system, retailers say image

Retailers are urging the next Government to reform the business rates system, which they argue penalises the retail sector by over £1bn every five years.

The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has published a ‘manifesto’, entitled A Vision for the UK Retail Industry, which sets out how the next Government should support the retail industry.

It calls on Whitehall to ease the business rates burden by scrapping the ‘downwards transition’. This is the method by which the tax on premises is corrected when the rates bill is incorrectly calculated.

The transitional nature of the ‘downwards transition’ means that a business’ tax bill is corrected only gradually rather than instantly, which leads to retailers paying more overall.

The BRC estimates that the ‘downwards transition’ costs retailers £1.3bn every half a decade.

The retail industry generates £17bn in business taxes and drives 5.1% productivity growth across the industry compared to just 0.5% in the UK as a whole.

It is also the largest private sector employer, with three million people directly employed in retail.

The BRC’s manifesto also called for reform of the Apprenticeship Levy to allow greater flexibility to spend on any form of accredited training.

Helen Dickinson, chief executive at the BRC said: ‘“A Vision for The UK Retail Industry” offers a path to empowering our shops, our shopworkers and our communities.

‘Political parties should grasp this chance for reform. The General Election is a unique opportunity to address many of the imbalances that are adversely affecting retailers. Imbalances that have led to job losses and store closures up and down the country.

‘Fixing the broken business rates system and reforming the Apprenticeship Levy would help unlock the necessary investment into skills, stores and online necessary to allow retail to thrive.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Trainee Craft Employee x6

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£18,795 - £19,945 per annum
Seeking to recruit several Trainee Carpenters within the Asset Management and Maintenance Service. Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Social Worker - Family Support & Protection

Essex County Council
£26001.0 - £30000.0 per annum
Please note this role is based in Clacton and is open to Newly Qualified Social Workers (NQSWs). The starting salary for NQSWs is £27,775 per annum an England, Essex, Clacton-On-Sea
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change

Durham County Council
£148,583
You will manage a range of front-line services including bins and waste, transport, environmental health, technical services, partnerships and... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Corporate Director of Regeneration, Economy and Growth

Durham County Council
£148,583
Seeking candidates who are adept at building relationships, able to work successfully with regional and national partners... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Tenancy Enforcement Assistant

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
Looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment with good customer service skills, flexible approach to work and a good team player. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Local Government News

Latest issue - Local Goverrnemnt News

This issue of Local Government News explores how councils can tackle modern slavery and trafficking in their supply chains, finds out more about Cambridge's first cohousing scheme and the launch of a new project to build a shared service pattern library for local government.

This issue also contains a special focus on children's services and how councils are protecting children following local safeguarding children boards being abolished.

Register for your free magazine