The Government’s rise in business rates will mean businesses in the East End have to pay almost £155m more over the next four years, even after the rate relief announced by Government.
The new rates, which came into force this month, show Tower Hamlets is the capital’s 5th hardest hit area. In total, local businesses will face over £162m extra in bills over the coming four years with only £8.2m being offered by Government in rate relief and only for a limited time.
The calculation does not include the 2% RPI increases the Government is expected to add each year over the period, making it likely the business rates hike will actually cost businesses even more than the £162m estimate.
Over 10,000 people signed a joint petition by Tower Hamlets Council, Hackney Council and the East End Trades Guild against the hikes, yet the Government ploughed ahead with the changes which will disproportionately hit businesses in the capital where land values continue to rise.
Mayor of Tower Hamlets John Biggs said:
"We value our high streets and businesses in the East End but the Government seems intent on taxing many of them to the point of bankruptcy. Our businesses will face over £155m in extra business rates. That might be manageable if you're a Canary Wharf multi-national but for the small businesses on our high street it could be devastating.
"The token rate relief announced by Government is an insult and won't come close to what is needed to help the small firms in the East End who will suffer as a result of these hikes. The Chancellor should do the right thing and reverse these rate rises until proper measures are in place to protect our small and medium sized businesses."