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Little comfort for UK retailers in today's Budget

Tom Johnson, a Partner at Pinsent Masons, says:

The cut in the headline rate of corporation tax aside, UK retailers will find little comfort in today’s Budget Statement. The strident lobbying from the property and retail industries in recent months has been ignored by George Osborne, with business rates still set to rise by 2.6% in April 2013 and no change to the deferment to 2017 of the revaluation of rates – adding insult to injury to an already beleaguered sector crying out for a freeze this year and a readjustment in rateable values to reflect the current economic climate (and not the top of the market rental values of 2008).

It was only last Wednesday that Vince Cable was suggesting that it was about time for a shake up of this country’s “old fashioned” business rates regime to help struggling retailers, although he did warn it wouldn’t happen overnight and wouldn’t be changed in the Budget, which has proved to be the case. As a major contributor to UK GDP, isn’t it about time HMG cuts the retail sector some slack on this issue?

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