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Gloucestershire Business News

'Urgent reform' is needed on Business Rates with £660 million rise looming

Businesses are banding together to call for an independent review into business rates with bills set to increase by £662million next year.

Figures calculated in September 2019 will dictate the level of business rates to be paid by companies from April 2020 and firms are bracing themselves for a rise.

The Consumer Price Index will be set by September's inflation rate, and industry experts are forecasting the rate to be 2.1 per cent.

Real estate advisor Altus Group have calculated that would lead to an increase in tax receipts from rates of £662.15 million.

Last month 50 of the UK's top retailers wrote a letter to the chancellor of the exchequer calling for a review into how rates are determined.

And now the Confederation of British Industry have backed that message and said that there are "fundamental issues" with the current rates system.

Rain Newton-Smith, CBI chief economist said: "The business rates system is in urgent need of reform.

"Plasters stuck on over the years have not gone far enough to address the fundamental issues.

"At a time when uncertainty and rising cost pressures are delaying investment decisions, reform to the business rates system would help businesses enormously.

"Government should consider initiating a comprehensive, independent review looking at how we build a fair and sustainable business rates system.

"And Government could use the Budget as an opportunity to unlock enterprise and investment - by announcing a 12-month holiday on new properties and property improvements, as well as the removal of downward transitional arrangements."

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