Business rates retention deflects from focus on need for system reform

UKHospitality has responded to today’s report published by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).

The economic research institute’s study found the 147 English councils piloting 100% business rates retention could gain around £873m in extra funding in 2018-19.

Commenting on its findings, UKHospitality’s CEO, Kate Nicholls, said: “Today’s 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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