Richard Daffern, retail partner at international law firm Pinsent Masons said that the UK Government's failure to act to help retailers in yesterday's budget with a reduction in business rates could have a drastic impact on the British high street.
"The recent decision to give retailers the option to postpone part of the April business rates increase is a good one and gives relief to many retailers who are struggling with the continued fall in real consumer spending, margin erosion and price deflation."
But Daffern warned: "However, to believe that we will be out of the woods in the near term in relation to the availability of commercial and consumer credit to kick start spending would be foolish. Retailers need more help in relation to business rates, otherwise more will be forced into administration and many high streets across the country will have more and more empty shops."
His calls for further assistance is backed by the latest analysis by the British Retail Consortium which found that planned business rates increases could destroy an extra 19,300 jobs and kill off an additional 582 retail businesses.
Source: Brown Lloyd James Financial