Committee urges government to fix ‘broken’ business rates system

 

The government has been urged to overhaul the ‘broken’ business rates system by the Treasury Select Committee.

 

The Committee said that alternatives are needed to protect struggling high street retailers. A report published by the Committee highlights businesses’ concerns that the current system places greater costs on physical stores as well as manufacturers – than online outlets.

 

It says that since being set up in 1990, revenues generated by the tax had outpaced inflation and reached £31 billion in the last financial year, but that it was now in ‘urgent need’ of reform.

 

Commenting on the report, Alison McGovern MP, the Committee’s lead member for this inquiry, said: ‘It’s abundantly clear that the current business rates system is broken. The tax represents an increasing burden on businesses, particularly those with a physical high street presence struggling to remain competitive.

 

‘Odd reliefs here and there are nothing more than sticking plasters to a system in urgent need of reform.’