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BRC calls for business rates to be frozen following inflation rise

The British Retail Consortium has called on the Government to freeze business rates after figures from the ONS Consumer Prices Index revealed that inflation rose to 3% in September from 2.9% in August.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

BRC calls for business rates to be frozen following inflation rise

The British Retail Consortium has called on the Government to freeze business rates after figures from the ONS Consumer Prices Index revealed that inflation rose to 3% in September from 2.9% in August.

The rise means that inflation reached its highest level in five years in September. In addition, the Retail Prices Index stood at 3.9% in the month.

The BRC said that without intervention to freeze business rates from Government, retailers will face a rate rise twice as large as last year and will be hit with an extra £270 million in tax next April.

Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said: “The consequences of today’s RPI figures could be severe for many shops in a precarious position and struggling to survive. Consumers, already seeing household incomes eroded, will face further misery as the pound in their pocket buys them less at the checkout.

“For retailers this will be compounded if UK Ministers fail to act and stem the hefty near four per cent rise in business rates, which is set to add an extra quarter of a billion pounds to retailers’ already unreasonable business rates burden.”

She added: “For many shops this may be the last straw. Across the country, especially in economically deprived and vulnerable communities, the cost of failing to take action will likely be seen in yet more empty shops and gap-toothed high streets.”

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