Retailers face huge hike in business rates

Retailers face an increased business rates bill of £470m next year.

September’s Consumer Price Inflation figure is used to set the rise in business rates from April 2024. The failure of the rate to fall from 6.7% will see the business sector see its bill rose by £1.7bn, to about £28bn according to property company Colliers.

The British Retail Consortium says retailers will face an increase of £470m.

‘All sectors are suffering from increased costs, whether from increased wage bills, materials or energy costs. They cannot cope with the hike in rates bills too. Higher occupation costs will only dampen expansion and growth plans and for many businesses might be the last straw. The government must do something. Freezing the multiplier [at 51.2p for every £1 of a commercial property’s rateable value, and 49.9p for small businesses] for 2024/2025 is the first step, but only really papers over the issues. Ultimately, we need proper business rates reform,’ says John Webber, Colliers head of rating.

‘Retailers face a £470m-a-year increase from next year; this will inevitably put renewed pressure on consumer prices. As a result, retailers are publicly calling on the Chancellor to freeze the business rates multiplier, allowing them to keep driving down prices, and invest in new shops and jobs,’ says Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive.

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