Cut rates save jobs

LOCAL authorities and landlords must reassess business rates and rents to save the high street, according to GMB Union.

The trade union said almost 135,000 retail jobs have been lost during the pandemic. It compared employment figures from 2019, when there were an estimated 1.2 million retail roles, to 1,075,000 recorded in the latest ONS figures.

Andy Prendergast, GMB Union national secretary, said: “The Great British High Street is being allowed to wither and die.

“These are vital businesses that drive our economy and help our communities thrive.
“GMB calls on councils and landlords to review commercial leases and offer lower rents – while our business rates system is archaic and no longer fit for purpose.

“Empty high streets and shopping centres that look like ghost towns are no good for anyone.”