UKHospitality: ‘Business rates retention deflects need for system reform’

13/04/2018 - 08:54
The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) published its ‘100% business rate retention pilots: what can be learnt and at what cost?’ report yesterday (12 April), claiming that the 147 English councils piloting the scheme could gain around “£870 million in extra funding in 2018–19.”

In response, UKHospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “The IFS report signposts possible financial gains for local authority budgets under 100% business rates retention schemes.

“It is important that any extra finances are used to support struggling businesses, and we will be making the case for much-needed investments to protect high streets and promote tourism growth.

“But the fundamental problem remains: the current business rates system urgently needs review and reform, as promised in the government’s manifesto.

“The inequitable, disproportionate burden for hospitality businesses - while digital companies all too often escape business rates altogether -  means that hospitality operators, including many small businesses, are facing potentially disastrous rates bills.”

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