Derbyshire chamber of commerce has welcomed Communities Secretary Eric Pickles’ plans to reform the UK’s flawed business rates system by unveiling a £415m package of business rates cuts and infrastructure investment to boost high streets and local economies.
It follows comments made by Prime Minister David Cameron earlier this week that there is a clear need to “look at longer term reform” of business rates.
Chris Hobson, Head of Information at the Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Leicestershire Chambers of Commerce, said: “The Chamber has long campaigned for a fundamental reform of Britain’s broken business rates system, so it’s good to see the Prime Minister acknowledge that it is an issue which needs addressing.
“However, while the rate reliefs proposed today will help many smaller companies, anything less than a complete overhaul of the system is just a sticking plaster.
“Business rates don’t just affect retailers. They are a huge and rising fixed cost for all businesses and hurt firms on industrial estates and in office blocks just as much as those on the High Street. They are a huge drag on business, hitting companies of all sizes long before they turn a profit.
“To create an environment where companies can thrive, business rates need to be contained. Ultimately, companies of all sizes need to be clear on taxes and rates bills, so they can get on with generating jobs, wealth and growth with certainty.
“Today’s announcement is a start. The Prime Minister said earlier this week that he was prepared to look at longer term reform. He must now set a clear timetable for this and ensure his ministerial colleagues and Whitehall civil servants follow it through.”