Briefing: dynamic effects of business rates changes


  • In 2022-23, local authorities in England expect to generate £22.5 billion in receipts from non-residential rates (business rates).[1],[2]

  • Abolishing or reducing business rates could ensure higher growth, investment spending and average weekly earnings.

  • The existing system for business rates has been in place across Great Britain since the late 1980s. Various proposals to reform or replace business rates have been made in recent years.



Key findings:

  • If business rates were abolished (in England), by 2032 GDP could be £34.5 billion higher, investment spending could be £8.6 billion greater and average weekly earnings could increase by £7.69.

  • That is a more than one per cent boost to GDP and an almost 3 per cent increase for investment. Average weekly earnings would also be more than one per cent higher.

  • The greatest proportional effect was through higher investment spending: the impact across all four scenarios was almost three times greater than either average weekly earnings or GDP.

  • With abolition of business rates in England, annual growth rates in investment spending could be 0.3 per cent higher each year.

  • Even with a 50 per cent reduction in business rates, there was a still noticeable increase in average weekly earnings. For instance, on an annual basis a 50 per cent reduction boosts earnings by enough to cover three weeks’ worth of average weekly expenditure on food and non-alcoholic drinks, which in 2021 was £69.20 per week.[3]





[1] This represents the net figure after reliefs, accounting adjustments and sums retained outside the rates retention scheme.

[2] Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, National non-domestic rates collected by council in England: forecast for 2022 to 2023, 6 April 2022,, (accessed 10 October 2022).

[3] Office for National Statistics, Family spending workbook 1: detailed expenditure and trends: FYE 2021 edition of this dataset, 18 July 2022,, (accessed 11 October 2022).

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