Market Insight

Autumn Budget 2018: Relief for the few, not the many

October 30, 2018

Following the Chancellor, Philip Hammond’s Budget speech yesterday, Partner and Head of Business Rates, James FitzGibbon, gives his views on whether or not the changes go far enough.

Yesterday the Chancellor cut business rates by a third for two years for small businesses with a rateable value of £51,000 and under in a bid to help save the British high street, but whilst the cut is to be welcomed, it simply does not go far enough. 

The fact remains that liabilities for most ratepayers and most occupiers will still rise by 2.3% next April. Not only this, the 2021 Revaluation will be implemented and will based on rental values as at April 2019. 

Yes, the Chancellor’s announcement is better news for small businesses, but the business rates burden across the board is too high, and as a tax system, it is simply untenable.

No longer is there any attempt to provide a transparent Business Rates system for ratepayers based on being fair and reasonable, and any hope of saving the fundamental foundations of a fair taxation system have, frankly, been dashed. 

For years now, the ratepaying business community has called for fair taxation but these calls continue to go unanswered. 

Yet again we find ourselves stating that Government hasn’t gone far enough. 

The Check, Challenge, Appeal system in England remains clunky and is overly complicated for ratepayers, despite calls from business and industry alike, to simplify the process. 

Not only this, the negative impact of business rates on business growth and investment cannot be denied. Nor should it be taken lightly by Government, which seems content to continue to ignore the representations of the many, in favour of appeasing the few.

For more information on how the changes announed to business rates might affect your future liabilities, don’t hesitate to contact us.

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