Budget announcement brings no real change to business rates – Hartnell Taylor Cook

Following the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement today, Chris Grose, Rating Director at independent property consultancy Hartnell Taylor Cook comments:-

“Whilst the Chancellor offered businesses a tax cut, with promises that the small business rates multiplier will be frozen for another year, it’s unlikely that many will see it this way. It’s a cost that has not gone up, and for those businesses not qualifying for the lower multiplier, the UBR will increase with the rate of CPI.

This is bad news for those whose RV is in excess of £51,000. Since the current non-domestic rates system was introduced, the rate in the pound has increased from 34.8p to 51.2p, which is extremely disappointing. Other tax rates, such as income tax or VAT do not increase by inflation every year, but rely on an increase in the tax base to increase yield, so why should business rates be any different?

Whilst the freeze on 75% retail hospitality and leisure relief is welcome, holding the multiplier as a tax cut is disingenuous. There is no justification in the amount of tax increasing beyond the value of the increase in rateable value. We also wait for the Government to address the elephant that is empty rate reform or Duty to Notify, which it would be remiss not to.”