08 Nov 2022The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has urged the government to reconsider the planned business rates rise, due in April 2023. The business group has called for 'urgent reforms' to the business rates system and to the 'inflexible' Apprenticeship Levy. Research carried out by CBI Economics revealed that retail and wholesale activity is worth £352 billion per year to the UK economy. The CBI warned that the 10% business rates rise due in the spring 'risks plunging many firms into a fight for survival'. It has also called for greater flexibility in the Apprenticeship Levy to help generate renewed optimism and investment in the retail sector. Commenting on the issue, Matthew Fell, Chief Policy Director at the CBI, said: 'Amid unprecedented levels of inflation and a cost-of-living crisis, it has never been more important to have retail and wholesale firing on all cylinders. 'That is why we are asking the government to smooth the looming business rates cliff edge; without intervention, the eye-watering rises scheduled for April will present an existential threat for many businesses which communities depend on. Longer-term reforms which encourage investment and fresh thinking on the Apprenticeship Levy can help future-proof the sector and spur further growth.'