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BRC hails UK Chancellor's short term support package
Dec '14
The short term support package announced by the UK Chancellor has been welcomed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC) which said that it will be of enormous help to those struggling to keep their businesses open on the high street.

The Chancellor had announced a full review of the structure of the business rates system alongside the extension of the 2 per cent cap on business rate increases for next year.

Further help on rates announced included the extension of small business rates relief for another year and the roll over for another year of the discount for retailers with properties of less than £50,000 rateable value, which will rise to £1500 next year.

The BRC and its members have been leading the cross-industry debate about the future scope of change for business rates and there is a strong consensus from retail and property to manufacturing that more fundamental reform is needed because the existing system is no longer fit for purpose.

Director general Helen Dickinson at BRC said, “We very much welcome the commitment to undertake a comprehensive review of the business rates system. We want a system that brings investment and jobs to the high street without punishing retailers who trade online.”

“Today’s short term support package will be of enormous help to those struggling to keep their businesses open on the high street. As the HM Treasury sits down to draw up the terms of reference for the review they should look to the BRC’s Manifesto Milestones for how to reform the rates system.”

The BRC has set out four principles of fundamental reform which include, total amount of business rates should be reduced, business rates should flex with overall economic performance as other taxes do, business rates should be shared equitably across different industries and that the system should have positive incentives such as encouraging energy efficiency.

John Rogers, Sainsbury’s CFO and chair of the BRC industry-wide group looking at the issue of business rates, said, “We welcome the full review of the structure of business rates.A clear consensus has emerged across businesses of all sizes and from all sectors - our current outdated system of business rates is not just a retail problem, but a business problem."

“We will be fully engaging with the review to ensure we get a new system which is fit for purpose in the 21st century,” he added.

Additionally, the statement also included announcements on voluntary regulation and Employers’ National Insurance Contributions for Young Apprentices.

The BRC also welcomed the announcement that all government departments and many regulators will be required to properly engage businesses on the impact of government-sponsored voluntary schemes ahead of implementation and to work with businesses to minimise costs wherever possible. (AR)

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India

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