Broadcast Interview - Devolved Welsh Business Rates diverging from England

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26 March 2019
  • Andrew West podcast on business rates with Business News Wales

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Business News Wales interviewed Business Rates Director Andrew West about the emerging differences between business rates in England and Wales.

Andrew 'demystifies' the complicated business tax, explains the appeals system and how it could be improved, and the adverse effect of the so-called 'Staircase Tax' on businesses occupying multiple floors in office blocks.

The podcast is 13 minutes long, with the different topics covered at approximately the following minutes within the broadcast timeline:

  • 1:00 Summary explanation of business rates and revaluations; link between property values and the economy
  • 2:00 Differences between Welsh and English business rates; understanding rating bills
  • 4:15 Appeals processes and issues; English 'Check Challenge Appeal' system and software problems along with ensuing drop in appeals
  • 8:00 Welsh system - how it could be improved; why it is difficult for businesses to interpret and to take up reliefs
  • 9:20 Staircase Tax - Supreme Court decision on businesses occupying multiple floors in office blocks; adverse effect of backdated tax; English reversal decision
  • 11:50 Welsh Government consultation on Staircase Tax - why Wales should follow England's lead; effect on competition.

Listen to the podcast.

Cooke & Arkwright have been providing rating valuation advice to The Welsh Rugby Union Limited (“WRU”) and Millennium Stadium plc for many years. They were recently successful in achieving substantial reductions in the assessments of the Millennium Stadium, covering both the 2005 and 2010 rating list. These negotiated reductions yielded savings of c.£3.5m which, crucially, allows the WRU to re-invest in rugby throughout Wales. They advise the WRU across the group portfolio including the National Centre of Excellence in the Vale of Glamorgan. The valuation issues across the WRU portfolio are complex requiring a high level of understanding of the funding and finances of professional sport in Wales. Cooke & Arkwright’s experience and understanding of these issues and application to the rating valuation have yielded these substantial negotiated reductions. The WRU and the Millennium Stadium entrust our work to organisations with the required levels in experience and expertise in dealing with these complex issues. I am glad to say we have this expertise in Wales. I would have no hesitation in recommending ratepayers making use of this Welsh based expertise.

Steve Phillips, Group Finance Director, Welsh Rugby Union Group