Huge business rate increase the ‘final straw’ for Hackney traders
PUBLISHED: 10:31 13 October 2016 | UPDATED: 10:31 13 October 2016
Traders in Hackney are set to be hit with an average business rate rise of 46 per cent – the second highest in the country.
The increase, announced last week, comes as part of the government’s “reassessment” of rateable values, which determine how much a business pays in rates.
The only area where businesses will be worse off is West Somerset, while neighbouring Islington is close behind with 45pc.
Traders will be officially told what they will be expected to pay on Monday when they are sent letters and leaflets by the government.
Hackney’s business boss Cllr Guy Nicholson, said the town hall would be taking the fight to the government over the “extortionate” increase.
He said: “It is excessive and completely out of all proportion. As if Brexit is not already enough of a risk to our economy and our future prosperity, adding a tax on enterprise such as this really is the final straw.
“It will inevitably deter the boroughs entrepreneurs from staying in Hackney as their businesses grow, it will reduce the number of jobs in the borough and has every prospect of hollowing out our local economy.
“We will be making representations to government on behalf of the borough’s business community calling on government to review these extortionate rises and put in place a fairer rate for Hackney’s businesses.”
Hackney has no Chamber of Commerce but the vice chair of the Islington branch said he will be speaking to traders in Hackney in his bid to launch a national protest against the plans.
Hak Huseyin told the Gazette: “It’s absolutely disgusting.
“My rent is £11,000 so I’ve got to find another £5,000. Most businesses are just about keeping their head above the water as it is. It’s as if the government is saying we don’t care if you are open or not.
“We have six months to have an impact. How much more can we take? We’re already fighting people online who don’t pay rates. We don’t do zero hour contracts, we do things the right way but get kicked in the teeth again and again.
“The message has to reach the Prime Minister.”