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Yesterday revealed news that there will be a huge change in the way companies pay Business Rates across the UK. The chancellor, George Osborne, announced that the UK’s entire business rates income will be held directly by local authorities; uniform business rates as we know them will be ended. The current scheme sees the entirety of business rates revenues held by the central government, currently around £26 billion annually, and then returned to local authorities through grants. The new legislation will see local councils given the authority to set business rates as they see fit and retain all revenue from them. Osborne has called this “the biggest transfer of power to our local government in living memory”.
The move is one that has been greeted with a mixture of anticipation and caution. Teresa Beatty, surveyor at tenant acquisition specialist Morgan Pryce, believes the current system has many flaws, but equally that the new system must be implemented properly as to not exacerbate these,
“There is no doubt that this change could bring a much needed restructure to the current business rates system. Businesses and Councils could become more closely linked, which can only have positive connotations. However, there must be caution when carrying these changes out – things could get worse if not done properly. There is little reform in terms of the inflexibility and lack of responsiveness that is inherent in the current system and the new proposal could potentially just add another barrier for businesses.”
This news was brought to you by Morgan Pryce, a specialist tenant acquisition agent with offices in Oxford Circus and the City. Morgan Pryce specialises in search, negotiation and project management and works exclusively for tenants.