1st April 2009 – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has today dismissed as inadequate the Chancellors plans to spread the five percent increase in business rates over three years.
FMB Director of External Affairs, Brian Berry said: “While we are relieved that the Chancellor has decided not to proceed with the full five percent increase this year, the alternative is still entirely unacceptable given the scale of the recession and that unemployment has spiralled to more than two million.”
Berry continued: “Business rates are linked to RPI inflation which is currently at zero, therefore the Chancellor should not have considered anything other than a freeze. There is even a case for a reduction in business rates as RPI moves into negative territory in the coming months.”
Berry concluded “It almost seems that the Chancellor doesn’t understand how bad conditions are for businesses. He must abandon any thought of a business rate increase until conditions improve significantly. It is also vital that the chancellor reintroduce full business rate relief on empty properties before his current policy condemns them to demolition by those who cannot pay his bills.”