This week, two debates took place in the Commons with relevance to the retail industry. The first – on Supporting Small Businesses - was led by the Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves, with whom we enjoy good engagement, whilst the second – on High Streets – was brought forward by Labour’s Janet Daby.
Business rates featured strongly in both debates, with a number of MPs raising concerns about the impact the tax has on their local high streets and communities. The BRC’s Retail, Rates and Recovery report, published in September, was referenced by several MPs as they discussed the need for urgent action to reduce the business rates burden.
The BRC will continue to make the case for significant reform to make the tax better reflect market reality and to cut the burden on businesses, in order to unlock investment and growth across the country. All eyes will be on the Chancellor as he delivers his autumn Budget next Wednesday, which is anticipated to include the conclusion of the Fundamental Review of business rates.