As has been mentioned above,councils over the decades have milked local businesses,but so too have commercial property landlords,it's no wonder that real profitability is impossible,particularly when the above is even before competitition is taken into account.
It's not just cultural though,it's political,not just with rates or rents, there's also the 'austerity' effect of taking out demand through making the working class,the pensioners or those on benefits poorer.
Yes,pensioners do have it tough, do NOT believe Cameron's lies about being 'generous' to pensioners.
The FACT is, pensioners,in NET terms are WORSE off, just like the groups above,the reason is simple, 2.5 % p.a increase under the 'triple lock',what the lying Tories do not say is that in 2011, they increased V.A.T by the same 2.5% from 17.5-20%.
In other words, 'in one hand, out with the other',that's before inflation, the underfunding of the local council funding alterations that the Tories carried out, the 'precept' of 2.% from this April et'c.
When you take money out of people's pockets to fund gov't spending, do not complain when the economy takes a dive,after all, the 'rich' do not need to spend the money they ripped off from taxpayers or through the inflated prices of goods & services that the middle class control.
ONLY IDIOTS fail to understand the fact that when a group of businesses like utility companies get away with ripping off consumers with the full support of successive governments,as well as uncontrolled migration, that not just society begins to fracture, but also the economy & government too..