The Craft Bakers’ Association (CBA) has welcomed plans by the government to freeze business rates at 2%.
The rate is expected to be announced at today’s autumn statement by Chancellor George Osborne, meaning the annual inflation-linked increase in business rates will be capped at 2% for 2014 rather than 3.2%, saving companies £300m.
Mike Holling, executive director of the CBA, said: "We welcome any moves which actually help the high street, but I still think more could be done. I still feel we could see more effort from the government when it comes to the high street.
"We keep hearing about new initiatives [about the high street], but all they are telling us are what we already know. What we need now is more action, and while any help is welcome we need to see more."
John Longworth, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “It is heartening that the Chancellor appears to be listening to business, and is planning to limit the damage caused by relentless business rates increases.
“But a tax rise is still a tax rise. Although a cap on rates would spare businesses some £300m in tax hikes, and reliefs help many of the smallest firms, companies of all sizes will still be paying hundreds of millions more in rates to the Exchequer next year than the £27bn they are expected to pay in this year.
“The business rates system is still iniquitous, still broken, and still in need of fundamental reform."