A SHOP owner whose livelihood was destroyed in the riots may have to fork out business rates despite not trading for around 18 months.
The Green Mango Café, selling Pakistani street food, was damaged in the London-wide disorder in August 2011, only four months after opening its doors.
Zakar Hussain says the government is trying to make him pay tax from then until now, despite his café on The Green, Ealing, being closed.
An appeal hearing which was due to take place on Wednesday morning was postponed until further notice, leaving Mr Hussain unsure of what will happen next. He has already appealed twice with no success.
Mr Hussain, who lives in Slough, said the case is pending due to further investigation, but he has not been told details and will not know until he gets a letter.
He said: "Wednesday was going to be make or break for me. I feel it is injustice, it’s another barrier that’s stopping me from opening, I don’t know how I’m going to move forward. Although I am not in the position to trade, they expect me to pay business rates from August 2011 until now, it’s ludicrous.
"Obviously I have not got the money, I currently have no source of income. If I do have to pay then I will declare myself bankrupt. I opened at a difficult time anyway but I was not expecting all this."
Mr Hussain claims that other businesses are exempt from paying rates yet he is not. He said he will represent himself in the trial as he cannot afford a solicitor.
Mr Hussain has now got the money together for the windows and shutters to be replaced and the café is in the process of being repainted.
If everything goes as he hopes and he is exempt from rates, the business could reopen within a month.
To follow the progress of the refurbishment, visit www.greenmangocafe.co.uk