Osborne set to announce business rates reform

George Osborne is expected to announce plans for a complete overhaul of business rates in his 2014 Autumn Statement today.

The Chancellor will reveal that the tax on commercial property in the UK is to be reviewed in a bid to save the high street, according to the Daily Telegraph.

A review will be welcomed by groups such as the Federation of Small Businesses, the British Retail Consortium and the CBI, who have previously called on the government to scrap the 400-year old business rates system, labelling it as “outmoded, clunky and regressive”.

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Retailers are also expected to back changes to the system, which currently calculates business rates according to the rental value of a property a company uses.

More than 100 businesses, including Debenhams and Supergroup, signed an open letter requesting the overhaul of business rates in September.

The letter drew attention to the “critical problem” of business rates, stating they are “no longer fit for purpose in the 21st century” and must be revamped in order to “unleash investment”.



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