Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

BRC fights local business tax

Published:  23 July, 2008

Retailers will become "voteless cash-cows" if local authorities are given the power to directly tax businesses to fund projects, a UK retail trade body has said.

Reacting to the Treasury Review, Enhancing the Effectiveness of Sub-national Economic Development and Regeneration, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said it is concerned the Government is still considering giving councils the power to levy 'supplementary business rates.'

The supplementary tax would be used to fund major projects like city tramways and rail systems such as Crossrail.

The BRC is arguing that such tax would be open to "widespread abuse" and that local authorities would take advantage of the system to tax businesses to pay for projects that should be provided through existing budgets.

BRC director general Kevin Hawkins said: "Giving local authorities the power to directly tax businesses would be like setting Pooh Bear (a character in children's books and programmes Winnie the Poo) loose on the honey reserves, only this time it'd be retailers that would get stung."

Hawkins said retailers already contribute 4.5m to councils a year through business rates.