January 30 2014.

BCC director of policy and external affairs, Dr Adam Marshall, was a little reserved on yesterday's announcement by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles on business rates:

“While the rate reliefs will help many smaller companies, anything less than a fundamental reform of Britain’s broken business rate system is just a sticking plaster.

“Westminster and the media seem to think that business rates are only a problem for retailers. Yet they are a huge, and rising, fixed cost for all businesses – and hurt firms on industrial estates and in offices just as much or more than the high street.

“The Prime Minister has recently committed to looking again at the business rates system. He and the Chancellor must set a clear timetable for this – and ensure that their own ministers, and Whitehall civil servants, do not yet again hide behind the excuse that fundamental reform of business rates is ‘too difficult’ to achieve.”