Businesses urge rates review push

Business rates review

Leading business groups have warned George Osborne that there must be a thorough review of business rates amid increasing fears that a reappraisal, pledged by the Chancellor in last year's Autumn Statement, could be kicked into the long grass. A letter to Osborne signed by the British Chambers of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses, the British Retail Consortium, the British Property Federation and the Association of Convenience Stores highlights concerns about the Chancellor's pledge to keep the review fiscally neutral, which it says risks 'prematurely narrowing the review's terms of reference, and subsequently undermining its credibility'. Businesses fear the Treasury's approach will mean there is no substantial overhaul of the tax. Mike Spicer, the BCC's director of research, said: 'Businesses were promised a fundamental review of the business rates system, not a half-hearted effort.' ASC chief executive James Lowman added: '[The review] needs to be based on robust, independent evidence, should result in a fairer system, and should end the perverse incentives which discourage investment and growth.'


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