Reacting to today’s announcement of the Retail Price Index for September 2012, ACS has called on the government to take action to lift the burden on retailers.

The rate, announced today as 2.6%, remains higher than the government’s target of 2%.  

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “Year-on-year increases in business rates have put pressure on businesses and choked off investment at a time when growth is desperately needed. After refusing to acknowledge the issue of business rates in the 2012 Budget, the Chancellor can no longer afford to ignore this problem.

“Linking the annual rates increase to September’s Retail Price Index is artificial and damaging. We need a new system for setting the rates increase and a cap on increases that provides retailers with certainty when planning for the future.”

The business rates increase for April is set by the previous September’s rate of RPI. In 2011, the September RPI was set at 5.6%, costing convenience retailers £35m with estimates for the entire retail sector set at around £350m.