'Immediate action' required to stop business rates increases, BCC warns government

24 Oct 2017

In its Autumn Budget submission, the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has warned the Chancellor that ‘immediate action’ is required to ensure that UK businesses aren’t hit with further business rates increases.

The BCC has urged the government to abandon the annual uprating of business rates for the next two years. It also called for the government to exclude plant and machinery from business rates valuations.

Echoing the call made by the Institute of Directors (IoD), the BCC urged the government to temporarily increase the Annual Investment Allowance (AIA) from its current rate of £200,000 per annum to £1 million, in order to ‘incentivise business investment during the Brexit process’.

In addition, the business group called for the government to refrain from imposing ‘more input taxes or other significant costs’ on firms, and urged the Chancellor to commit to ensuring adequate mobile coverage across the UK by 2020.

Commenting on the wishlist, Dr Adam Marshall, Director General of the BCC, said: ‘At a critical moment for the UK economy, the Chancellor must be bold – and deliver a big Budget that prioritises economic confidence and investment.

‘The best possible Brexit deal won’t be worth the paper it’s written on if conditions for growth aren’t right here at home. The Chancellor has a unique chance to move the dial on growth and productivity now, leaving the UK in a position to succeed over the long-term.

‘Action to slash the upfront costs faced by business, to incentivise investment and to improve mobile coverage and infrastructure would lead to a real boost to productivity, wages and trade.’

The Chancellor will deliver the Autumn Budget on Wednesday 22 November. Make sure you keep an eye on our website for coverage of the key announcements.

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