The 2014 Budget offered little in the way of longer-term respite for the nation’s business ratepayers. In spite of mounting evidence from the retail sector and a devastating report from a committee of MPs, the Chancellor has refused to put his weight behind demands for a root and branch review of the rating system.
Given that next year’s pre-election Budget will focus primarily on vote-friendly giveaways, business ratepayers will have to wait at least another two years for any serious reconsideration of the rating system. In the meantime, all sectors will continue to suffer, with many businesses throwing in the towel along the way.
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Commercial property has mostly been left high and dry and is unlikely to be given the government focus it deserves any time soon.
The fracking debate shows no signs of abating, and many commentators sense a polarisation of views.
The government attempted to explain his decision to delay the revaluation beneath a veil of 'certainty and predictability hyperbole. Yet the opposite has occurred.
Local authorities, keen to de-risk, see significant strategic value in combining their activities with neighbouring authorities.
Innovative retail lobbyists have successfully drawn the government’s attention to the plight of the High Street’s business ratepayers. Yet, while the demands of the sector for fundamental reform are clear, the details are far from consistent.