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Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire: 01530 353 500

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An Increase in Business Rates…

The government has rejected suggestions that it has underestimated business rate rises by 5-7%. In a private letter to MP’s, the conservative party argued against criticisms it miscalculated the suspected rises. Tory MP Sajid Javid communicates that the revelations were distorted half truths and that most firms would not see a rise in rates. The Liberal Democrat party, in a separate analysis, stated that the current estimations did not take in to account inflation or appeals adjustment (added to ensure revenue does not decline in the face of rate appeals). The results of this suggest that rates would only fall in 135 council areas; not 259 the conservative government claimed.

In light of the accusations, Chancellor Phillip Hammond announced he’s willing to hear arguments against the proposed rate rises. However, he was not willing to commit to re-evaluating the rises. Based in North-West Leicestershire, DBS were keen to hear the views of local MP and small business owner, Andrew Bridgen. Andrew has long been a champion of smaller businesses, representing our interests within government. Mr. Bridgen spoke to BBC Radio 4’s Today program that while disappointing, the figures were not to be regarded as misleading. He highlighted concern for his constituents, citing one local small business as facing a potential increase from £50pcm to £700. Mr. Bridgen had anticipated a 1.3% drop in business rates for our constituency, but worries actual figures delivered will likely see a 3% increase.

A reason for the sudden confusion around business rates is the fact we have not had a re-evaluation for 7years. Mr. Bridgen highlighted that his party were committed to being the party of business and commerce. As a result he is concerned about the huge burden this would place on the private sector. He has concerns that new rates would force businesses to reduce growth, despite having had the largest economic growth in the G7.

Business Rates at DBS…

Mr. Bridgen said whilst he would not actively vote against the rises, he was registering his concerns on behalf of local businesses. At DBS we include business rates within our office rental, so DBS clients will not feel any increase in rates. This however highlights the need for consistency and security for smaller businesses. We are in a time of political upheaval; no one knows what exactly Brexit will mean for the UK economy. We are likely to face difficult times over the next few years of uncertainty.

DBS offer fixed monthly outgoings inclusive of office rental, utilities, IT/Telecoms, cleaning, maintenance and of course, business rates. Whilst we offer this security to all our clients, we have to sometimes take on an unexpected financial burden such as this. Luckily, we trust Mr. Bridgen will continue to put the needs of smaller businesses to government and hope that despite this increase in outgoings, we will still see an increase in business growth throughout North West Leicestershire.

Are you concerned about business rate rises? We’d like to hear your views; email jvallance@dbs-centres.co.uk or call 01332 810 900