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Business rates rising faster than council and fuel taxes


The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has released figures showing that business rates are rising faster than both council tax and fuel duty combined.


According to the OBR, between 2008 and 2018 business rates will have grown 41% – an increase of £9.4 billion. This will bring the total collected from UK companies to £32.3 billion. Meanwhile council tax will have risen 21%, and fuel duty by 26.6%, in the same period.


In a letter to Chancellor George Osborne, 14 manufacturers have demanded reform to business rates. These include: General Motors, Tata and Siemens.


They wrote: ‘Business rates is one of the very few taxes which are non-cyclical and fixed at a level irrespective of economic or market conditions.


‘Fixed costs are given much greater prominence over taxes when making investment decision and therefore huge comparative distortions [with the rest of Europe] are seriously undermining the UK’s case as a destination for investment’.