The British Retail Consortium (BRC) is calling on politicians to commit to a fundamental reform of business rates after research found a majority of MPs agree the system is “not fit for purpose and in need of fundamental reform”.
The consortium found that 80% of MPs believe the current system of business rates is not fit for purpose and in need of fundamental reform, while 93% agree that reform of business rates is an important area for the future success of the high street and town centres.
All political parties are being called upon to reduce business rates, with rates changing on the basis of economic performance, as other taxes do. The BRC said business rates should be shared equitably across the economy and the system should have positive incentives to encourage energy efficiency.
The campaign is part of the BRC’s push for a complete reform of the UK business rates system by 2017.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “It is no longer an option to say that fundamental reform is too difficult or complicated – that particular ship has sailed. The challenge for politicians is to show us all how they are going to embrace the task of reform and deliver, with us, a system that is fit for the 21st century.”