Earlier this week the CBI joined other business organisations in submitting a letter to all remaining members of the Treasury Select Committee (TSC) on their Business Rates inquiry. It emphasised the urgency of publishing their recommendations following their inquiry into the impact of the current system on businesses.
At the time, the inquiry was hugely welcomed by business as it was seen as a significant first step towards creating a fair and sustainable business rates system in the long term, a long running campaign of the CBI.
The risk of delay
However, with the reshuffle in government there is now a risk that the findings of the inquiry will not be published in September (as expected). This means is it is looking increasingly more unlikely that the TSC’s recommendations will be published in time to feed into the upcoming budget in the autumn. Despite the upcoming election of a new TSC chair and some committee members, reforming the business rates system should remain a priority. At a time where there is an imminent threat of a no deal and weak business investment, it is crucial that government takes action at this year’s budget to tackle the growing burden of business rates, a major sticking point for a lot of businesses across all sectors and regions of the economy.
It is therefore important the TSC’s findings are published ahead of the budget to ensure any action on business rates is well informed and reflects the significant efforts of both the committee and businesses in contributing towards the business rates debate.
Ahead of the Autumn Budget, the CBI will be developing its own recommendations which will form a key part of our budget submission.