Rate rises could drive more firms into business insolvency

Published on March 21, 2013 by Crawfords Accounting

Continuing increases to business rates could see the problem of business insolvency loom even larger for troubled firms in the years to come.

In this week’s Budget speech, Chancellor of the Exchequer outlined certain moves which he claimed would help businesses – such as a further freeze on fuel duty.

But he has come under criticism for failing to take action on business rates.

According to OBR predictions, the amount collected by the Exchequer through business rates will break through the £30 billion threshold in 2016-17, and will stand at almost £27 billion in 2013-14.

Coming off the back of several high-profile business insolvency headlines relating to major retailers, the British Retail Consortium says more should have been done to help struggling companies in the current economic climate.

Director general Helen Dickinson says: “One in nine high-street shops is currently empty. An opportunity has been missed to make a difference to our troubled high streets, and the communities that rely on them.”

She adds that the immediate impact of business rate rises will be a further £175 million in costs to companies who have already had to find £500 million in extra rates in the past two years alone.

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