Firms in England will have to fork out an extra £1bn in business rates next year due to rocketing inflation, experts warned yesterday.
Figures released yesterday by the Office for National Statistics showed retail price inflation hit 3.9 per cent in September. This will determine the rise in business rates scheduled for next April, and according to rates specialists Gerald Eve, this means ratepayers in England will face a £1bn tax hike.
Trade body the British Retail Consortium said the government must freeze business rates to avoid "misery on the high street".
Helen Dickinson, BRC chief executive, said the rate rise meant shops would be "struggling to survive" next year. The retail sector alone will have to pay an extra £273m in rates.
The hike comes after a business rates revaluation that took place this year, which saw rates rise by as much as 60 per cent for some businesses in London.
Chancellor Philip Hammond promised relief for the businesses most affected by the changes. However, the Federation of Small Businesses warned yesterday that there were "chronic delays" hampering the delivery of the relief.