Debate Magazine

"BCC Calls for Freeze on 'iniquitous’ Rent Increases"

Posted on the 22 November 2013 by Markwadsworth @Mark_Wadsworth
From The TelegraphGeorge Osborne should freeze commercial rents and overhaul the "iniquitous" and "broken" system of index-linked automatic rent increases, one of Britain's leading business groups has demanded this weekend.  The British Chambers of Commerce has urged the Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement to "abolish" upward-only rent reviews in a move that it says would boost the economy by enabling more business investment, helping sales and exports.  In its Autumn Statement submission to the Treasury, the BCC said that commercial rents are "an iniquitous privately collected tax that aggravate already uncertain business cash flow and impose hefty new costs".  It has argued that businesses are suffering under the burden of having to "absorb relentless increases in their rents" – levies that are relentlessly increased "no matter the stage of the economic cycle, company performance or ability to pay"...  John Longworth, the director general of the BCC, said: "There is no question that commercial rents hit companies of all sizes long before they a make profit, and acts as a drag on business growth and investment.  "Most of our members pay more in rent than in corporation tax and business rates put together, for very little in return. Firms across the UK have been crying out for relief from this stealth tax for years but, so far, their pleas have been ignored."

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