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Mr Brown: "Labour will retain the uniform business rate.
Claire explains: "The double whammy of reduced rateable values coupled with a reduction in the Uniform Business Rate could have been a breath of fresh air for many troubled businesses in the north, especially in the manufacturing sector where the severe curtailment of empty rates relief has been the final nail in the coffin for some operators.
Arranging the rate support grant, policing the council tax, and setting the uniform business rate ought to lie with the Treasury, where the background control it has always exerted can be exposed and thus made accountable.
Your rates are arrived at by multiplying the rateable value times the `poundage' or uniform business rate (UBR).
He said: "The uniform business rate does rise by the retail price index on a year by year basis.
In addition, the polarisation between prime and secondary commercial space will see an overall shortfall in the overall rateable value pool, which will force the government to significantly increase the Uniform Business Rate (UBR) - potentially above 60p.
This multiplier, known as the Uniform Business Rate (UBR), is linked to the Retail Prices Index (RPI) and it is this link that is currently bad news for business ratepayers.
In theory, as the rateable value pool grows the uniform business rate or multiplier should fall (based on government statistics) by up to 12%.
The 2009 Uniform Business Rate (UBR) is set by tracking inflation as of September 30, 2008, 5%.
Today the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) called on the government to drop its plans, pointing out the uniform business rate was established in 1990 specifically to prevent councils in certain areas of the country from hitting firms with inflation-busting business rate rises.
City rating specialist David Evans said companies would see the Uniform Business Rate (UBR) tax rise 2.
Specific measures already indicated by the Chancellor include allowing local councils to keep more of the uniform business rate that they levy, to encourage them to help local businesses to start up.

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