While the British Independent Retailers Association (Bira) welcomes the results of the government’s inquiry into business rates, ceo Andrew Goodacre says that he is disappointed with the recommendations.
Although the report is clear about the current business rates system needing reform by removing complexities, incentivising investment and changing the Check Challenge Appeal process, which Bira agrees with, he feels that the government could do more.
The committee behind the inquiry, led by The Rt Hon Nicky Morgan MP, visited the Bira offices in Birmingham in May to speak to retailers about the burden of business rates.
At this meeting and previous meetings with the Treasury, Bira put forward its own suggestion of a rates free allowance of £12,000 for the smallest retailers. The Association hopes to have the opportunity to work with the Treasury to test the idea.
“It’s clear that the committee has listened to the concerns of retailers about the effects the outdated system is having on business,” states Andrew. “However, we would like to have seen stronger recommendations for reform resulting in a reduction in the business rates burden on those businesses struggling the most.”
He continues: “Hopefully the various political parties will include recommendations from this report in their new election manifestos.”
Bira represents 6000 independent retail businesses across the UK.
Top: Senior MPs and retailers got together at Bira’s HQ in May to discuss moving forward on business rates.