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    Retailers call on to freeze business rates multiplier

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    Retailers are calling on the Chancellor to freeze the business rates multiplier to help them keep driving down prices, and invest in new shops and jobs as they face a £470 million-a-year increase from next year.

    British Retail Consortium (BRC) said today (18) that retailers hope that cost pressures continue to ease in the coming months. 

    Responding to the latest CPI inflation figures which shows headline inflation remaining at 6.7 per cent and food inflation falling to 12.1 per cent, with food prices falling 0.2 per cent on the previous month, Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, said that drop in inflation reflects competition between retailers as well as fall in the price of some global commodities.

    Dickinson added that September CPI figures will determine business rate in April 2024, implying retailers are facing a £470m-a-year increase from next year.

    “With the all-important Christmas period fast approaching, retailers hope that cost pressures continue to ease in the coming months. Unfortunately, the September CPI figures – which will determine how much business rates will increase in April 2024 – mean that retailers face a £470m-a-year increase from next year; this will inevitably put renewed pressure on consumer prices.

    “As a result, retailers are publicly calling on the Chancellor to freeze the business rates multiplier, allowing them to keep driving down prices, and invest in new shops and jobs,” she said.

    “While headline inflation remained at 6.7 per cent inflation rates in retail, such as food, furniture and clothing, all eased. This reflects the fierce competition between retailers, their investment in cutting costs, and the fall in the price of some global commodities. These factors helped shoppers welcome the first fall in food prices in two years, as September prices dropped below those in August. Some of the biggest price cuts were seen on items such as cheese, margarine, pasta and chocolate. This will be particularly welcome at a time when households face rising heating costs as winter sets in.

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