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Gloucestershire Business News

Councils send in the bailiffs to thousands of struggling businesses

Bailiffs have taken action against around 41,000 companies unable to pay higher business rates since last year's controversial revaluation, it is claimed.

Business rates advisors, the Altus Group estimates English and Welsh councils have referred tens of thousands of businesses to bailiffs that were given the power to enter premises, seize goods and sell them at public auction to settle debts, it is reported on Sky News.

But the figure only covers the number of referrals from April to September 2017 - the first five months after revaluation.

Sky News says many companies operating in London and the South East faced the biggest increases. The Government has asked councils to be proportionate in enforcement and use bailiffs only as a last resort.

Alex Probyn, president of business rates at Altus Group, said the deeply unfair system of transitional adjustment severely limits the amount by which bills can go down, meaning many businesses are paying disproportionately high bills in locations where local economies are underperforming and values are falling.

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