Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement today to stagger the increase in business rates, Kevin Hoctor, Head of Policy at the British Chambers of Commerce, said:



“We asked the government to freeze the business rate increase because RPI inflation is at zero per cent.



“Staggering the cost is still an increase and it will be complex. Businesses will still be hit at a time when they have restricted cash-flow and growth.




“We have said that it’s not an exaggeration to say that some companies could go bust under the strain of the increase in rates and the ending of transitional rate relief.


“This doesn’t make any sense in an economic downturn. It will be business that drives the UK out of this recession so I would urge government to find a way of supporting firms with these extra costs.”