Business Rates Review Welcome But Short-Term Measures Also Needed
Rod Edwards, head of rating at Eddisons, welcomes the Government’s review of business rates confirmed in this week’s Budget but says it should be doing more to help businesses with their rates burden now.
“The Government is keen to flag what they are doing to help businesses from 1 April 2015 but they should have gone much further. As a minimum, they should have made the retail relief scheme easier to apply for across the board, removed the liability on rateable values under £12,000 and introduced monthly instalments on rates payments as standard.
Rod is also sceptical that the government will make large-scale changes to the current rating system, following the review, no matter what industry suggests. “With business rates raising over £20 billion annually, the Government simply cannot afford to do away with this level of revenue. Businesses should not be fooled into thinking that a review will necessarily reduce the rates burden.”
As for Rod’s recommendations, he argues for a shorter revaluation period of three years, with an antecedent valuation date one year before, so that rates bills more accurately reflect the prevailing economic backdrop.
Written by: Craig Newton on Monday 16/03/2015