The government’s plan to increase business rates next April is raising feathers for shops and small firms. With last month’s rise in the Retail Prices Index of 5.6%, the government feels it needs to make this move.
Now, however, many small businesses and groups say that they simply won’t be able to continue under these terms. The British Property Federation spokesman said that retailers and other businesses can “ill afford” these increases. He said that it is necessary to stop linking them to the RPI.
One business owner, for instance, Liz Lawson, said that her business rates used to be about a third of her rent five years ago; now they are 45%.
A spokesman for the British Independent Retailers Association said that, “Independent shop owners are being squeezed from all sides.”