Mon 2nd Dec 2013
NI Chamber of Commerce: Chancellor should use Autumn Statement to address ‘spiralling’ business rate bills
Ahead of the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement on 5 December 2013, Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce (NICC) is urging the government to address spiralling business rates – one of the most commonly cited issues impacting on firms’ ability to grow.
Commenting, Mark Nodder, President of the Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce (NICC), said:
“Business rates is a tax that hits companies of all sizes long before they a make profit, and acts as a barrier to business growth and investment. According to the last Northern Ireland Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey, the cost of spiralling business rate bills was one of the most commonly cited issue impeding business growth plans.
The Chancellor should therefore use the Autumn Statement to announce a root and branch reform of the entire system. We need a new framework that is more flexible, transparent and responsive to changes in the economic environment.
We appreciate the commercial rating measures that the Northern Ireland Executive has introduced in recent years to help business, particularly small businesses here. However, we have been left behind other parts of the UK in the introduction of some policy measures including Enterprise Zones which typically provide enhanced business rates relief.
The Executive needs to move much more quickly to create a zone within Northern Ireland to stop local businesses losing out. We look forward to a more substantive announcement on a Northern Ireland Enterprise Zone before the end of this year.”