More than 100 organisations including large and small businesses from the retail, manufacturing, property, hospitality and service industries have called for political parties to commit to fundamental reform of the business rates system.
In an open letter to the three main political party leaders that appeared in a full page advert in ‘The Daily Telegraph’ on September 16, 107 firms highlighted the issue of business rates and asked the political parties to commit before the General Election to a fundamental review of the system.
The wide coalition of signatories, co-ordinated by the British Retail Consortium (BRC), who range from FTSE 100 companies to SMEs, say that business rates are “no longer fit for the purpose of the 21st century” and should be revamped to unleash investment in order to create new skilled and entry level jobs on the high street, bring new and expanded businesses into local communities ,and support other industrial investment.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “Today’s open letter proposes that the political parties should make a commitment to look at deeper reform of business rates if they form the next government after the election. The sheer breadth of industries represented shows the strength of our collective belief that the existing system is no longer fit for purpose and that we will support the work of a future government to carry out reforms so that we can all play our part in growing the UK economy.”
Signatories to the open letter include Argos, Asda, B&Q, bira, British Chambers of Commerce, British Property Federation, British Retail Consortium, Co-op, Debenhams, Fenwick, Homebase, John Lewis Partnership, Morrisons and Sainsbury’s.