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Firms call for ‘inflexible business rates’ reform

The Government should consider reducing the business rates multiplier and targeting specific support at the hardest-hit industries, according to a professional accountancy body.

A study from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW) found 31% of businesses will need Government support to survive the winter.

Of those, 62% said a reduction in business rates would help the high street and therefore boost the economy.

More than half (51%) would prefer to see employer’s National Insurance contributions cut, while 37% want further reductions to VAT.

Business was down at 62% of companies, with half of those expected to make redundancies over the next six months.

Iain Wright, director of business and industrial strategy at the ICAEW, said:

“It’s clear that more intervention will be needed from the Government.

“In particular, some struggling companies could fail when faced with inflexible business rates bills. Reducing the business rates multiplier would bring down the cost of this charge.

“Although the whole economy is suffering, it is striking that the economic effects of the pandemic affect some sectors with much more brutal damage than others.”

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