The third consecutive year of increase in business rates has disappointed retailers in UK, says the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Reacting to the provisions made in the UK Budget 2013, presented by Chancellor George Osborne, the trade body said that the government could have lend more support to the struggling retail sector by freezing the business rates for the year.
The rise in business rate, according to BRC, will add £175m to the retailer’s half a billion pounds outgo that retailers have had to cope with business rates increase over the last two years.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson remarked that this was the Chancellor’s opportunity to maximise retailers’ contribution to re-establishing growth by keeping more money in customers’ pockets and leaving retailers with more money they can invest.
"He’s done well for hard-pressed households but could have done more to help retail businesses to help him deliver jobs and growth," opined Dickinson.
The retail trade body however welcomed the corporate tax cut to 20% from April 2015 but it highlighted that business rates are more significant for retailers.
"And remember, corporation taxes are on profits. Little is paid in lean years. But rates are on property and rise relentlessly regardless of company results," said Dickinson.
BRC also lauded the decision to increase income tax threshold for individual assesses to £9,200 starting April 2013 and further increasing to £10,000 from April 2014.
"Moves on the income tax threshold and fuel duty are great for consumers’ confidence and ability to spend, which will help retailers and the wider economy," concluded Dickinson.