Partners at firm demand total re-think on business rates

Matthew Lee (far left)

Matthew Lee (far left)

Partners at accountancy firm Bishop Fleming are demanding a total re-think of business rates, which they describe as “burden which is hand-cuffing business growth”.

The firm has launched a campaign, urging the Government to institute a root and branch review of the business rates tax.

Matthew Lee, Bishop Fleming’s Managing Partner comments: “Every business that occupies property, whether offices, industrial-space, or retail, has seen business rates become one of their biggest costs.

“In many cases, that cost is now hand-cuffing those businesses’ ability to invest or grow.

“In our view, this is an iniquitous tax – based on property values that the Government chose to ‘freeze’ at their highest level, and guaranteed to rise every year by being the only tax that is index linked to inflation.

“What we want to see is an immediate revaluation process to rebalance Business Rates.

“UK businesses pay the highest business rates in Europe – more than Germany and France combined. How can that fit with the Government’s declared aim to make the UK more competitive than our EU rivals.”

He was equally scathing about the Government’s decision to postpone a scheduled property revaluation, on which business rates are based.

Bishop Fleming is now surveying thousands of clients in the South West for their views on how business rates are affecting their business – and what they believe happens to the money they have to pay.

Any business in the region can take part in an online version at www.bishopfleming.co.uk/businessrates.

The firm is also urging businesses to sign a new online petition, calling for a “root & branch reform of Business Rates”, at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/57038

 

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