Major reform of business rates system kicked into long grass again

14 October 2021

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A major reform of the Business Rates system appears to have been kicked down the road yet again, as reported in The Telegraph today (14th October, 2021).

“Government plans for a major overhaul of the controversial levy have been ‘thrown into the long grass’ and only smaller scale tweaks will be unveiled by Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, later this month, The Telegraph has learned.”

This is another big disappointment for businesses after the original promise by the UK Government to respond to the detailed and constructive input of business and professional bodies to the fundamental review by Autumn 2020. The review process began in March 2020.

The RICS, IRRV and Rating Surveyors Association engaged positively in the consultation process and made constructive and realistic suggestions for change that would be to the benefit of all business rate stakeholders.

After two previous postponements, this is now to be delayed yet again to an unspecified future date. This news is extremely disheartening and makes one question the commitment to real reform.

The accumulated problems with the current system will not go away and we would hope the government will now prioritise a substantive response by the end of the year.

Mansford has expanded its investment portfolio over the last few years. Over this time Andrew West has provided us with a full rating valuation service which has involved giving a view on liabilities prior to acquisitions, as well as conducting negotiations with Valuation Officers on our UK estate. The portfolio includes a wide range of properties from shops, offices and pubs to major leisure schemes. He has been particularly successful in mitigating our liabilities to empty property rate, which has been an issue on acquisition prior to implementing our development and letting strategy. I have no hesitation in recommending Andrew's expertise in rating valuation for all property types. The profile of property within his portfolio and the successes achieved are testament to his position as an extremely accomplished rating practitioner.

Leopold Hall, Partner, Mansford LLP