The Business, Innovation and Skills Committee (BIS) have called on the Government to reform the country’s business rates. They want to see more done to support retailers and encourage the growth of local economies.
According to the BIS, the way rates are currently structured is in need of “fundamental reforms” and that the property tax needs an entirely new overhaul with a request for a “wholesale review” of the system.
Business figures have always waded into the debate with Sir Terry Leahy, ex-boss of Tesco, said it was an “ancient tax” that “has not worked in years”.
Currently the rates are calculated based on the value of a commercial premises. What has been suggested by many, including the BIS, is that it should be worked out based on the value of a business’s sales instead. This should mean that the smaller High Street shops, which are now making gains but still struggling, should pay less.
According to the committee chairman, Adrian Bailey, “business rates are the single biggest threat to the survival of retail businesses on the High Street.”
In response, the British Retail Consortium, who work for the rights and representation of the country’s retailers, have welcomed the move and claimed it is “the final nail in the coffin” of the debate about business rate reform.