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Chancellor ignores retailers’ letter

No response to 50-signatory call to reform ‘broken’ business rates system


CHANCELLOR Sajid Javid appears to be ignoring more than 50 retail bosses and their letter calling for the Government to reform the “broken” business rates system.

Retail Gazette reported that the letter, sent last week to the Chancellor (pictured) having been coordinated by the British Retail Consortium, demanded measures to address many of the challenges posed by business rates.
These are freezing the business rates multiplier, which is set by the government and adjusted each year in line with inflation; fixing transitional relief as it currently forces many retailers to pay more than they should; introducing an “improvement relief” for ratepayers, and ensuring that the Valuation Office Agency is fully resourced to do its job.
However, in a statement by a Treasury spokeswoman, there was no comment on the letter’s demands but they said: “Last month, the Prime Minister announced a £3.6billion Towns Fund to support our High Streets and town centres, allowing them to attract greater footfall, jobs and investment.
“The Chancellor will announce further details of the Government’s policy programme in the coming weeks and months.”
BRC chief executive Helen Dickinson said the lobby group would continue their campaign for reform, adding that there was “complete agreement that the business rates system as it stands is broken”.

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