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Retail business rates could rise by £169m over the next 12 months

Retailers could see a £169m increase in business rates next year, prompting renewed calls for the government to overhaul the system.

Calculations by real estate advisors Altus Group found gross business rates bills (including non-retail) for the financial year 2020/21 would increase by £662.15m in England, if the headline rate of inflation remains unchanged at 2.1% in line with forecasts. 

Business rates income has risen by £6.04bn, up by almost a third since 2010/11, with £24.97bn in England expected to be collected this financial year

Robert Hayton, head of UK business rates at Altus Group, urged the new chancellor Sajid Javid to be both “bold” and “pro business”. He said: “With major retail and hospitality businesses reducing their estates and headcount often citing high level of rates as a contributory factor, I urge the chancellor to take the bold and ambitious step of being the first chancellor to freeze the multiplier since the national business rates system was introduced in 1990.

“It would be a positive message to business from the Johnson administration and a real statement of intent post-Brexit. It would help all other sectors too, such as manufacturing, who are also hurting.”

This comes as over 50 retailers signed a letter last month, demanding the government to fix business rates. 

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