The British Retail Consortium has warned that retailers
will be forced to pass on major increases in their rates
bills to consumers when new valuations for properties
come into force in 2010.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson yesterday (9
September) said increased property costs would
?inevitably filter through to higher prices for
customers? and called on the Government to act to ease
the pressure on retailers likely to be hit by the
The warning came in response to data from GL Hearn and
Investment Property Databank suggesting rates bills for
retailers will rise by 16% in 2010.
?This research provides worrying evidence that
retailers, already suffering the economic slowdown and
increases in property costs, have worse to come,?
?The Government should accept it can best help customers
by enabling retailers to keep prices down. With growing
uncertainty about the rental property market since the
April 2008 valuation date, it must look again at the
basis of this revaluation. It must also reintroduce
empty property rates relief and reconsider its plans for
business rate supplements.?
Empty property rates relief was abolished last year,
while the mooted introduction of business rate
supplements could see local authorities pick up an extra
slice of the increased bills.