Racking up business rates by 5.6% would deliver a heavy blow to embattled retailers, BIRA has told the Treasury.
Alan Hawkins, CEO of the independent retailers association, was making his comments ahead of next week’s Budget.
“Basing this increase arbitrarily on the rate of inflation last September would be particularly damaging when inflation has fallen, is falling and will continue to fall,” he said. “The Chancellor should correct this in his Budget next week, capping it at no more than 2%.
“This rate increase regime is not sustainable for the future,” he went on. “If the government really is intent on helping business then it must create a rational mechanism that increases or decreases the cost of business occupancy with the rise or fall in business itself.”