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A double-edged sword: What the national living wage and business rates review means for the UK retail sector

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A double-edged sword: What the national living wage and business rates review means for the UK retail sector

The introduction of the National Living Wage (NLW) in April 2016 and the resetting of
business rates in April 2017 have ramifications for the UK retail market. But just what exactly remains unclear, not least in the case of the living wage. This paper aims to offer some early pointers.

The announcement of the NLW in the 2015 Budget came as something of a surprise and is
expected to boost the wages of approximately 6 million over-25s, many of whom work in the retail sector – Britain’s biggest private sector employer. However, the expected rise in the retail wage bill is unlikely to be a disaster for UK retailers, at least in the short-term, and could boost spending too.

Meanwhile, business rates – a tax charged on most non-domestic properties in England and Wales – are due a much-anticipated and longdelayed review in April 2017 after a lengthy gap during which commercial property valuations have undergone considerable change.

Source : M&G Real Estate

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