FSB calls for action on SME business rates

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, to make good on his pre-election promise to reform business rates in the budget due to be held on 16th March.

Mike Cherry, Policy Director for the Federation of Small Businesses, says: “Ahead of the 2015 General Election, the Prime Minister and Chancellor both made unequivocal commitments to FSB members that they would make significant and fundamental changes to the business rates system. The current system is not fit for purpose, is unresponsive to economic circumstances, and is viewed as deeply unfair by the business community. While the Chancellor pushes ahead with plans to decentralise business rates, it’s absolutely vital the opportunity to introduce a fair nationwide system is not lost.”

The FSB has made a recommendation which would see businesses using low value premises with an assessed value of less than £12,000 being removed from the rating system entirely.

Increasingly business rates will be devolved to local government but there is need to reform the national framework in which they are set. It will be interesting to see what the Chancellor comes up with in the budget but we suspect that radical, much needed reform, that we need will remain elusive.