July 15, 2017 / 9:43 PM / a year ago

Britain says to link business rates tax to consumer prices from 2020

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s finance ministry will help companies by indexing the business rates tax against consumer prices rather than faster-rising retail prices starting in 2020, a spokesman said on Saturday.

Business rates are taxes to help pay for local services, such as police and firefighters, charged on most non-domestic properties, including shops, warehouses, pubs, cafes and restaurants.

Traditional retailers have argued the tax unfairly benefits online retailers, as they tend not to have many large properties.

“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,” the spokesman said in a telephone call.

While consumer price inflation hit an almost 4-year high of 2.9 percent in May, the old retail price inflation gauge rose to 3.7 percent from 3.5 percent.

Reporting by Andy Bruce; Editing by Richard Chang

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