Business rates rise could mean loss of 20,000 retail jobs
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) has hit out at the suggestion that business rates could rise as Chancellor, Alistair Darling, intended to increase rates by 5 percent but has since reduced it to 2 percent, with the rest of the increase being implemented over the next two years.
The Centre of Economic Research has revealed that the implications to the retail industry are huge, as by 2011 the Government will have to pay an extra £50m in unemployment benefits as well as a reduction of £500m from other taxes.
The director general of the BRC, Stephen Robertson, has said that this measure has the potential to damage jobs to the tune of 20,000.
The BRC’s view against the measure is shared by the British Chambers of Commerce, the EEF manufacturing group and accountants Deloitte.
Business groups are waiting tentatively for some good news within the budget but they are aware that the current state of public finances means that there is little room for much improvement. However, there is a unanimous call for empty property rates relief.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development says that as well as reducing rates, the Government should also delay the plans to increase employer National Insurance so that more people can stay in work and improve the nation’s resilience in the face of the economic downturn.