LONDON, 2015-3-16 — /EPR Retail News/ — Commenting on today’s announcement that the Government will examine the structure of the current business rates system Helen Dickinson, British Retail Consortium Director General, said:
“We very much welcome this further announcement of a complete review of the business rates system. This is, after all, a system that acts as a major drag on our economy while punishing our local high street.
“We supported the government’s decision back in December to take a proper look at the inequities of this system and today’s announcement from the Chief Secretary of a ‘radical’ review is great news for all of us who want a fairer, more efficient and sustainable system.
“From the breadth of the questions that the review is to address it’s clear that the government intend to take a broad and open-minded approach to finding solutions. That will meet with strong support in the business community.
“To guarantee that this review is a success it’s absolutely crucial that the government seeks authoritative and independent analysis as it progresses, with solutions based on the objective consideration of supporting evidence.
“Taking this approach will guarantee that the government’s own assessments are robust and that the necessary sweeping reforms deliver a fairer and sustainable system, one that ensures that the tax more closely reflects the wider economic conditions and allows businesses to remain competitive.
“With cross-party political support for a fundamental review of business rates I’m confident that we can bring about badly needed change, and in doing so securing the investment, jobs and growth that have been held back by the burden of this pernicious tax.
“We look forward to working closely with government and the review process as it progresses.”
John Rogers, Sainsbury’s Chief Financial Officer and Chair of the BRC industry-wide group looking at the issue of business rates, said:
“This review is very encouraging, and we welcome the possibility of much needed reform of business rates, and the reporting deadline of next year’s Budget. The fundamental questions announced by the government today are the right ones, and open up the possibility of creating a rates system fit for the twenty first century. We need to have a system that is fair, adaptable, and competitive across all sectors and businesses. Reducing the business tax burden, sharing it equitably across all industries and flexing it according to sales performance and economic conditions would encourage businesses to support economic growth, invest in high streets and create more jobs.”
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