London Mayor and City groups slam business rates overhaul and urge reform

retailers to be affected by business rates

This comes after a revaluation of rateable value, which will mean that some business will have to pay 150 per cent more when it is brought in next April, the Telegraph reports.

The alliance of 43 bodies includes London Councils, London First, the London Chamber of Commerce, the Federation of Small Businesses London and the New West End Company, which in total represent 16,000 businesses.

The group has called for a full review into the rates system and for more realistic proposals to combat the changes, such as more time to prepare for the hikes.

In total, London’s businesses will have to pay £885m more annually due to the revaluation, and across the city the average hike is 11 per cent. The Government has proposed a relief scheme that would limit increases for business at 45 per cent in a year, but the alliance of businesses has said that with just six months’ warning before these rate hikes, they can do little to prepare.

David Lutton, executive director of London First, a group representing businesses in the capital, said: “It’s difficult to understand how the Government expects London businesses, both large and small, to find an extra £885m next year at short notice.”

The New West End Company, which represents the interests of retailers in central London, has warned that the changes could be “catastrophic”, and added that the retail sector has suffered this year at the hands of the Government with the rejection of the modernisation of Sunday trading laws, as well as this revaluation of rates.

Deputy Mayor for Business, Rajesh Agrawal, said: “Our businesses are fundamental to the capital’s thriving economy, but with the uncertainty being created by Brexit, the last thing they need now is a hike in business rates on the scale the Government is proposing from next April.” He added that London needed greater devolved powers over business rates, including local control over future revaluations.