Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Business Rates a Real Issue for Retailers, Says Carney

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Business Rates a Real Issue for Retailers, Says Carney

Article excerpt

MARK Carney has weighed into the debate on business rates, saying it has become a "real issue" for retailers across the country.

The Bank of England Governor was asked by MPs whether the tax on business properties was having a notable effect on UK firms.

"The short answer is yes - yes, it's a real issue," Mr Carney told the Treasury Select Committee.

"It's one of those issues that is guaranteed to come up in every visit to business regional roundtable(s)," he said.

The high street has come under strain from a combination of rising rents, business rates and labour costs, at a time when discretionary spending have come under pressure.

It has already led to the administrations of the likes of Maplin and Toys R Us, while Byron, Prezzo and Jamie's Italian, New Look, Mothercare and Carpetright have all shut stores.

Mr Carney said: "We should start by acknowledging that this country has the most competitive and in many respects the most innovative retail sectors in the world and part of the consequence of that is . …

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