News that next year’s revaluation of business rates has been postponed has been partially welcomed by the Federation of Independent Retailers (NFRN) but independent retailers are still calling for the system to be overhauled.
The NFRN’s response came as Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick announced that the revaluation – previously brought forward from 2022 to 2021 – would now no longer take place to end uncertainty for companies affected by the impact of coronavirus.
Commenting, National President Stuart Reddish said: “On the face of it, this announcement seems to be good news but, in truth, the business rates system is broken and continues to do enormous damage to the businesses of independent retailers as they try to complete against online retailers who pay much less.”
Mr Reddish continued:”While the decision not to charge business rates this year was extremely welcome, we want – and need – HM Treasury to move quickly with regards to the business rates review announced by the Chancellor in the spring budget as soon as Covid is out of the way. That way, retailers will be able to have certainty and a fairer system.”
Announcing the postponement, Mr Jenrick said: “We have listened to businesses and their concerns about the timing of the 2021 business rates revaluation and have acted to end that uncertainty.
“Now is the time for us to continue to focus on supporting businesses affected by the pandemic, including through our unprecedented package of almost £10 billion in business rates relief.
“The government is continuing work on the fundamental review of business rates, with the key aims of reducing the overall burden on businesses, improving the current business rates system, and considering more fundamental changes in the medium-to-long term. The call for evidence for the review will be published in the coming months.”