Thousands of businesses face rates hike

The research by property consultancy Gerald Eve highlights the double whammy effect of the end of transitional relief and George Osborne’s decision to postpone a reevaluation of property values used to calculate the tax.

The analysis found that 6,500 firms will see their bill increase by a third or more, and 600 will see their bills double.

Jerry Schurder, head of rating at Gerald Eve, told the FT: “The government brought in the relief because they understood that small businesses could not deal with big shocks. Now government policy will impose a double-whammy.

“Not only will they not benefit from the adjustment that a revaluation would have brought by aligning values with the market, but they will also face inflation-busting increases in their bills.”

The controversial levy has been the subject of much discontent among businesses and lobby groups, who argue that the tax places a disproportionate burden on certain companies and in some cases often outstrips the cost of rent.

MPs of the business select committee condemned the system as “not fit for purpose” back in March, and while the Government has put in place measures to ease the burden on some companies, no proposal for an alternative system has yet been seriously considered.

Related: Business rates aren’t just squeezing the high street

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