FSB calls for business rates reform

The FSB is urging the government to significantly reform the business rates system which it describes as ‘regressive and outdated.’

In a letter sent to the government ahead of its business rates review this autumn, the FSB highlighted a number of positive steps that could be taken to improve the system. In particular, it said small firms should not be penalised with a higher business rates bill for investments aimed at improving sustainability or the working conditions of employees.

The FSB submission also encouraged policymakers to accelerate reforms aimed at removing some of the country’s smallest businesses from the system entirely and suggested all childcare providers across England should be granted rates relief to bring support in line with that provided in Wales and Scotland.

FSB National Chair, Mike Cherry said, “This is a levy that hurts small firms trying to do the right thing: if you put solar panels on the roof to aid your transition to net zero or install ventilation to support the wellbeing of your staff, the Valuation Office Agency will advise your local authority that you should be paying more in business rates. We should be aiming to take more small firms out of the system altogether, not least our childcare providers.”