A leading business rates specialist has warned the lack of support for businesses creates a “toxic cocktail”.
It comes as the government has dealt businesses in England a further blow, as the revaluation of business rates has been moved from 2015 to 2017, continuing to be based on 2008 pre-recession property values.
Mark Rigby, chief executive of CVS, said: “Economic conditions are extremely tough out there. Extending the current charging regime until 2017 – nine years after rateable values were last measured – is unjustifiable and is simply heaping pain upon pain for businesses crying out for some respite from government.
“Low consumer spending, high property rents and rising overheads like energy bills and staff costs are making trading conditions hard enough on the high street and right across business. Today’s announcement simply creates a toxic cocktail which is going to be very hard for thousands of businesses to swallow and survive.”
He added that no business could get away with charging prices that are out of date: “Struggling firms shouldn’t have to take it from the government, yet they are being required to do so. It’s not what businesses need right now and, frankly, they deserve better. As an announcement it thoroughly flies in the face of pro-business claims from government.”
British Baker reported last week that leaders from some of the UK’s biggest food and retailing businesses signed a letter to the Financial Times, urging the government to freeze business rates to avoid empty shops on high streets and stop unemployment levels from rising further.