UK firms face a £1.35bn rise in business rates next year, the biggest jump in over 20 years, following the latest hike in RPI. That warning comes from Jerry Schurder, head of rating at Gerald Eve, after news that RPI in September jumped from 5.2% to 5.6%. He pointed out that because the Uniform Business Rate (UBR), the multiplier used to calculate rates, is linked to RPI, the rate will increase from 43.3p to 45.7p per pound of rateable value. In addition, businesses in London will pay an extra 2p per pound due to their funding of Crossrail. The rates rise will be even steeper for around 171,000 businesses whose bills are still being phased in following the rating revaluation in 2010 - they will see their bills shoot up by 26.7%, said Schurder. Schurder urged the Government to use the lower Consumer Price Index figure, currently 5.2%, for calculating rates. He said: “A tax rate approaching 50% whilst the country still experiences economic struggles will prove unsustainable to many businesses. “Ever since the Uniform Business Rate was introduced in 1990 successive governments have linked the UBR to the previous September’s inflation figure even though the legislation permits the adoption of a lesser figure. “The Government claims that it expects inflation to tumble next year in which case it should surely assist businesses and the struggling high street by holding business rates for 2012/13 in the same way as it found funding to freeze council tax for a second successive year.”