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Viewpoint - 30/11/2011

Chancellor's Autumn Statement: Help or hindrance to businesses?

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Firms with a Rateable Value of less than £12,000 will enjoy a six month relief extension. However, is this a missed opportunity for abolishing Empty Property Rates and stimulating much needed new development?

Statement unlikely to encourage more ambitious growth in the private sector 

Richard Wackett, our National Head of Rating, explained: “The Chancellor’s Autumn statement is unlikely to encourage more ambitious growth in the private sector and could also lead to a surfeit of obsolete second hand space and a shortage of good modern accommodation.

“A more helpful scenario would have been to grant a rate free period for new businesses and/or new buildings for up to two years in order to encourage business growth and development.”

Current policies are suppressing demand and supply

Currently many occupiers find their rate liabilities, based upon a historic valuation date of 1st April 2008, which are higher than the actual rental values in the current market.

Richard concluded: “The government’s apparent lack of regard to business rates has had a direct effect on rentals. In this poor market not only is there a lack of demand, but also no prospect of new supply due to developers being reluctant to accept potential voids which will attract a full empty rate liability.”

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