Hurstwood’s reaction to last week’s Autumn Statement.
The key part of the statement for us was the section on business rates.
At the moment rates are disproportionately high and we’ve been told by current and prospective tenants that they are one of the main factors holding them back when it comes to renting commercial property.
While it’s obviously good news that the issue has been acknowledged, we feel that that the measures in the Autumn Statement are not enough. Capping the business rates increase and maintaining small business rates relief for another year will, at least, not make the problem any worse, but it does little to solve it.
With current rates calculated from the 2010 valuation, businesses are paying rates that bear no resemblance to the actual values of their properties. Some are struggling to pay, even with the help offered by some local councils, and many are being put off from moving or expanding their operations.
The next revaluation, scheduled for 2017, cannot come soon enough. Perhaps the best solution would be to return to the original revaluation date of 2015. The sooner rates can be brought down to a fairer, more manageable level the better.
You can find full details of the statement on the Government’s website.