Disappointing response from the Chancellor on business rates
The Chancellor did what was absolutely necessary and did not provide the general support British companies need, says Colliers.
The Chancellor has missed a unique opportunity to reassure companies and refine his business tariff strategy in today’s budget, says John Webber, Head of Business Rates at Colliers International.
The Chancellor has met expectations that he will extend the current vacation rates for 100% 2020/2021 for retail, hospitality and leisure for a further three months until the end of June and then offer vacation for business rates of up to two-thirds for the following nine months.
However, according to John Webber, Head of Business Rates at Colliers, this has done little to help businesses in other sectors that have not had the benefits of vacationing with business rates and have also faced real difficulties. This would include the aerospace industry, manufacturing companies (especially those offering retail / hospitality and leisure) and many office businesses.
In the office space in particular, the financial impact of the pandemic has been dramatic for many – as evidenced by the sheer number of companies challenging their tariff bills via MCC (Major Change in Circumstances). Colliers estimate that this number is now around 350,000.
“The Chancellor has failed to do anything about these 350,000 MCC business rate appeals that are messing up the system, now tackling the business rate multiplier at an outrageous £ 0.51 level, committing to a 2023 rating reassessment Clarify or introduce confusing rules on state aid limits A business tariff creates a moratorium for those companies that have not been able to pay their business tariff bills due to the pandemic. ”
And to top it off, the Chancellor granted the VOA a sabbatical year for three months for no apparent reason – bad news for the tariff payers, whose bills are currently being printed in 2021/22. ”
“Even retail, leisure, and hospitality vacation prices aren’t as simple as it sounds. After the first three months, it looks like it will be very cumbersome for companies to apply and clarify to the already overloaded clearing authorities.”
While we were already disappointed that the Chancellor had postponed the review of business rates until the fall, we had hoped there would have been more to say today – it was disappointing that he again failed to take this opportunity and just skimmed the surface on this one Theme.”