Survey finds retailers are shunning the UK because of high business rates

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27th January 2017 11:48 - Retail

Survey finds retailers are shunning the UK because of high business rates: A recent retail survey has revealed that approximately 75 per cent of international retailers are electing to expand their stores outside of the United Kingdom as a result of the country’s high and complicated business rates system.Survey finds retailers are shunning the UK because of high business rates

The survey findings were published at a time when British companies were condemning the UK Government’s plans to overhaul an appeals procedure which will limit the powers companies have to challenge incorrect business rates increases, as well as bill increases.

The survey was commissioned by Intu, the owner of the Trafford Centre, and the British Council of Shopping Centres, now known as Revo. The survey revealed that international retailers are choosing to avoid the United Kingdom, primarily because of property tax.

In July 2016, approximately 160 international retailers were surveyed about what they believed were the obstacles and attractions to expanding and investing in the United Kingdom. The survey was conducted after the EU referendum vote.

The survey findings also revealed that retailers were not as concerned with the complications of the Brexit vote and said that the strong labour laws in the United Kingdom, as well as the digital infrastructure and sophisticated market, were attractive attributes. On the other hand, the UK’s business rates system was rates the most unattractive factor to investing in the UK, with the survey respondents saying that the fixed property tax had stopped them from entering the country.

If all of the 130 retailers who took part in the survey chose to expand to the United Kingdom, more than 75,000 new jobs would be created for the country and £11.9bn in rent would be generated, as well as £6.7bn per year in business rates and income tax.

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