Wednesday 18 January 2017 4:00 am

Business rates block foreign investment into UK retail

Sky-high property taxes are making foreign companies think twice about expanding in the UK.

Business rates have increased markedly since they were introduced in 1990, and have now become a barrier to foreign investment, according to a new report.

A paper from shopping centre owner Intu and shopping centre representative group Revo has recommended business rates be reformed to attract more international retailers into the UK.

Read more: A third of London firms to spend more on business rates than rent next year

The recommendation is based on the views of 130 international retailers, 73 per cent of which said they would prefer expanding in other countries due to barriers to entry into the UK market, including business rates.

The report found that if these retailers did choose to invest in the UK, they would create 75,000 jobs.

David Fischel, chief executive of Intu, said: "Sometimes you do go around the world and see retailers that aren't in the UK, and you think, well why aren't they here?

"The answer is that it isn't part of their plan."

High property taxes meant international companies could "make easier profits elsewhere", Fischel said.