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Small businesses face a further blow as the government base an increase of the 2012 Uniform Business Rate on retail price inflation of 5.6 percent. Traditionally, the new rate from Aril is based on the figure from the previous September. However, according to legislation the government could use a lower figure.

As businesses struggled to absorb the 4.6 percent increase from 2010, the higher increase could cause jobs to be cut. The chief spokesman for the Federation of Small Businesses, Andrew Cave said:

“Business rates are the highest overhead for a small business. At a time when they are struggling it will be another kick in the teeth next year when most businesses will hope things will be improving and their overheads are getting under control.”

According to Stephen Robertson from the British Retail Consortium, it isn’t right to do this to small businesses who struggled to survive the previous increase. The Consumer Prices Index also rose to 5.2 percent from its previous rate of 4.5 percent, due to electricity and gas prices rising. The situation is reminiscent of 2008, when the CPI peaked at 5.2 percent with oil prices soaring to their highest, following the collapse of Lehman Brothers.

Figures from Office for National Statistics show that March 1992 was the last time that the figures were higher, when CPI reached 7.2 percent. Experts predict a peak in the inflation rate to its highest in October, followed by a fall during the first six months of 2012 when it will settle lower than three percent.

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