During a report on BBC News yesterday, it was highlighted just how crippling Business Rates can be.
When Ian Shaw lost his job, he decided to open his own Fish & Chip Shop in Rochdale. Unfortunately, after 18 months, he is being forced to close because of crippling costs. Mr Shaw pays £10,000 in rent for his business premises and a massive £18,722 in Business Rates. He told BBC News:
If I can't make it work, no-one's going to make it work. I have literally put my heart and soul into it.
He has the support of his local MP, Simon Danczuk. He told BBC News that property prices have fallen in Rochdale by 40 per cent over recent years, however Business Rates have remained the exactly where they are. This puts people off opening new stores, which leads to vacant properties.
Ian Shaw appears to be paying more in taxes than he makes in profit, which is not only unsustainable, but is clearly wrong. If the Government is truly concerned about the High Street, then it cannot continue to punish people like Mr Shaw who when after losing his job, did something positive, opened a new business, and provided much needed employment in his local community.
You can do something positive by supporting our campaign to freeze Business Rates. Go to FreezeBusinessRates.org and write to your MP. It doesn't take long and it makes a real difference. People like Ian Shaw need to be encouraged, not beaten into the ground by excessively high taxes.