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Business rates moratorium will cost firms £2.3bn

However, London's companies will bear the brunt of the rise when the deferred revaluation is carried out in 2017, due to steeply increased property prices and costs.

The Bilfinger GVA review, entitled "April Fools: the rating revaluation that never was", found that the uniform business rate (UBR) in this year would have ballooned to 54.5p had the revaluation gone ahead as planned, up from the current UBR of 48p.

The report forecasts that by 2017, UBR will rise to 51.2p. This will cost London businesses £1.1bn with a 7.5pc increase in rateable values but still represents a saving to the capital of £400,000 on today's rate.

The business rates revaluation usually takes place every five years and reflects changes in the property market. The most recent revaluation in England and Wales was April 1, 2010.

By the end of the next five-year cycle, Bilfinger GVA claimed that the UBR will hit 60p, an all-time high.

It has called on the Government to start calculating business rates using the Consumer Price Index instead of the Retail Price Index to avoid soaring rates.

Unlike CPI, RPI includes housing costs, which considerably inflates the rate.

It also recommends that the Government scrap the downward transition plan, which phases in reductions in business rates liability. Businesses often have to wait up to five years to receive the full benefit of any revaluation.

"The Government is responsible for much of the controversy over the current system for delaying the revaluation from 2015 to 2017," said David Jones, senior director in Bilfinger GVA's business rates team. "Our research clearly highlights the regions and sectors that have paid the highest price for the delay.

"By switching to a CPI-linked system, committing to more frequent valuations, and scrapping downward transition for those businesses that have been hardest hit, the Government coud make huge strides towards redressing the imbalances in the system, and reducing an increasingly disproportionate burden on growth and job-creating enterprise," Mr Jones said.

The Government is undertaking an urgent review of the whole business rates system but no findings will be reported until March 2016 and it is committed to being fiscally neutral with no change in revenues collected. Our TV screens seem to be overwhelmed by solicitors pleading with us to claim for each and every mishap, it seems that there is no such thing as an accident in this day and age. Somebody can be blamed and they must be made to pay!. Bearing this in mind, it would be a very brave (or perhaps foolish) owner of any business, be it big or small who decided that they didn't need public liability insurance. Clicking on the following link will answer your questions on Is Public Liability Insurance Mandatory For Small Businesses?.Business rates are worth more than £25bn to the Treasury.

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, announced on Tuesday that Labour plans to slash business rates for 1.5m small firms to make the tax system "fairer". The party claims revenues from business rates rose by £3bn under the Coalition.


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