CBI says UK business rates system is ‘broken’

Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has said the British business rates system is “broken” and needs reform, ahead of the Chancellor’s budgets announcement on October 27th.

The Telegraph reported today that only minor changes to rates are expected, as “wholesale reform” was delayed during the pandemic.

The CBI is a not-for-profit membership organisation that speaks on behalf of 190,000 businesses.

In a joint statement today, the CBI, along with 40 trade associations spanning the UK economy, said action by the Chancellor at the Budget to reform the current business rates system could unleash a wave of business investment across key government priorities, including net-zero and ‘levelling up’.

It argued that the present system in England was outdated and acted as a drag on the government’s goal of a high wage, high productivity and high investment economy.

It said that with up to 50% of business investment potentially subject to business rates, the current system actively disincentivises business investment in decarbonisation and wider investments which can improve all-important productivity, which is the only sustainable route to higher wages.