British Chamber of Commerce calls for business rates freeze

British Chamber of Commerce calls for business rates freeze

The British Chamber of Commerce has set out a "Business plan for Britain", calling for a business rates freeze until 2017.

In its manifesto, the BCC calls for wide-ranging action from the next UK government to achieve a “more confident and more enterprising Britain.”

As part of this, the chamber has said business rates for all companies should be frozen until 2017, when the a full revaluation of premises takes place, and it has also called on a thorough review and reform of the “broken” business rates system by 2022.

“UK firms face the highest business property tax bills in Europe, and the current system is at odds with the government’s ambition to have one of the most competitive tax systems in the G20,” a BCC spokesperson said. “Simplifying the UK tax system and reducing the taxes firms pay even before they generate a profit, will boost businesses competitiveness, investment and jobs.”

Rising business rates and rents is a key concern for the survival of bricks and mortar booksellers and an issue the Booksellers Association has lobbied on in the past.

Elsewhere in its manifesto, the BCC is also calling for a more ‘pro-business’ Home Office that supports British firms by reducing bureaucracy, costs and delays for foreign business visitors, expanding aviation capacity by building more airports, and for the government to place business at the heart of local growth.

John Longworth BCC Director General said: “The decisions taken during the term of the next parliament will have a profound impact on the UK’s ability to grow. We need a business plan for Britain, with governments across the UK focusing their attention on creating the best possible environment for growth and enterprise.

“Our Business Plan for Britain is practical, pragmatic and achievable.  We call on the next UK government, the devolved administrations, and local authorities to work together and with us in a true partnership to make our plan a reality, and lead Britain into a more prosperous future.”