December 4 2013.

Commenting on speculation that the Chancellor of the Exchequer will announce a cap on business rates rises in his Autumn Statement tomorrow, (Thursday 5th December), John Longworth, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:

"It is heartening that the Chancellor appears to be listening to business, and is planning to limit the damage caused by relentless business rates increases.

"But a tax rise is still a tax rise. Although a cap on rates would spare businesses some £300m in tax hikes, and reliefs help many of the smallest firms, companies of all sizes will still be paying hundreds of millions more in rates to the Exchequer next year than the £27bn they are expected to pay in this year. The business rates system is still iniquitous, still broken, and still in need of fundamental reform."

"Businesses in Britain still pay far more in property taxes than their counterparts in countries like Germany and France - which undercuts the government's stated aim of maximum tax competitiveness. A cap on rate rises is better than nothing, but not nearly good enough.”