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THE TREASURY is to announce a change in the way business rates are calculated according to weekend press reports, potentially saving retailers money.


The Mail on Sunday and news agency Reuters reported that, within three years, business rates will be indexed against consumer prices rather than faster-rising retail prices.


"We are committed to switching business rates indexation from RPI (retail price index) to CPI (consumer price index) from 2020 and will introduce legislation in due course," an unnamed Treasury spokesman was quoted as saying.


Many retailers—particularly those operating physical stores—believe the current business rate system to be unfair, with lobby groups such as the British Retail Consortium having longed called for wide-reaching reform.


A switch to CPI is unlikely to end those calls, but it could still mean lower bills for retailers, with the latest RPI figure outstripping the CPI rate by 80 basis points.



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