Gifts Today magazine

BIRA talk rates at Number 10

Downing Street visit sees special advisor discuss nub of the High Street’s problems

Business rates were on the top of the agenda when the British Independent Retailers Association visited Downing Street to meet Number 10’s special advisor Jimmy McLoughlin.

Previously deputy head of policy and head of external relations at the Institute Of Directors before he moved to his Downing Street role, his business relations specialist background allowed the BIRA team to discuss the nub of the High Street’s problems.

BIRA were keen to inform Number 10 that, while there are a number of burdens on companies at the moment, business rates are a massive tax on the High Street, and very much exacerbated by the recent overdue revaluation.

The assocation made the point that, although the Government have raised the rates-free amount to £12,000 with a taper run off to £15,000, this is nowhere enough for the average High Street retailer.

Sarah Arnesen from BIRA said: 'We laid out the innovative thought that if there was an allowance not a cliff edge of £12,000 this would mean that smaller businesses would not be under constant pressure, but instead able to contribute extra productivity and profit to UK plc.

'In addition, it would mean that the Government could scrap all current and often short-term reliefs that cost the treasury at least £2.6billion a year.'

Further to this meeting, BIRA are now looking to put together detailed costings, and more information on this will be available in due course.

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