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Lyons review may lead retailers to higher business rates

09
May '06
Retailers are seriously concerned that the recommendations contained in the latest paper to come from Sir Michael Lyons' Inquiry into Local Government Finance could lead to large increases in business rates.

BRC Director General, Kevin Hawkins, said: "We agree with Sir Michael Lyons that local government has an important part to play in community prosperity and retailers are already making a large contribution."

"He is right to say that there may be benefits to more decisions being taken at local level but we remain seriously concerned that restoring local control of business rates would mean retailers being seen as vote less cash cows and subjected to an even greater cost burden."

"Retailers are being squeezed by rising rents, labour costs, service charges and energy prices while competitive pressures and weak consumer confidence mean shop prices are actually falling. They already contribute more in rates than any other business sector. Many would be severely affected by being asked to pay more."

British Retail Consortium


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