BRC call to freeze business rates

The British Retail Consortium is calling on local MPs to support their high streets as a priority in 2013, given that 11.3% of town centre shops are already vacant. The BRC is calling on the MPs to support a freeze in business rates, which are set to rise by 2.6% this year, saying that the 10%+ increase in the last two years has added over half a billion pounds to retailers’ costs.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson said: “The Autumn Statement didn’t include a pledge to freeze business rates next year, but there’s still time for the Government to do the right thing. Another steep rise would pose a serious threat to vulnerable town centres and mean fewer jobs, especially for young people…Two-thirds of MPs have already told us that they support a rates freeze next year – I urge them to keep pushing for change if they want to breathe life back into our town centres and preserve and protect local businesses.”