Published: 31st Oct 2019

The UK’s business rates system is ‘broken’ and places an unfair burden on high street businesses, according to a cross-party group of MPs. A report by the Treasury select committee says the current system places a greater cost on high street shops than it does on online retailers. The report claims that since business rates were introduced in their current form in 1990, the revenue they have generated has outpaced inflation, with them contributing £31 billion of Treasury income in 2018-19. In particular, it says the current system acts as a ‘disincentive to investment’, as any investment in premises can lead to an immediate rate revaluation. ‘Businesses can face a dilemma when spending money to improve their property because it can lead to a higher rates bill,’ the report states. ‘This means that business rates can work against government policy to improve productivity, improve digital connectivity and encourage the use … (To read the full article, subscribe below)