2022 BUSINESS RATES REVALUATION LOOKS INCREASINGLY LIKELY AMID BREXIT NEGOTIATIONS
The Queen’s Speech, which set out the Government’s legislative agenda during the State Opening of Parliament yesterday, highlighted the fact that with the last three years having been largely dedicated to Brexit negotiations, planned efforts to support business across the UK have fallen by the wayside.
Andrew Hulbert, of property consultancy Harris Lamb’s business rates team, said that with Chancellor of the Exchequer Sajid Javid having now set a date for the Budget – in the week following our scheduled departure from the EU – it was critical to address the ongoing frustrations of small firms around spiralling business rates charges.
“What with the prorogation of Parliament earlier this year, and the general disruption of Parliamentary procedures over the past year or more, those Bills intended to tackle business rates issues have not been brought to the fore, leaving firms flailing while they wait for clarification.
“The Non-Domestic Rating (Lists) Bill 2017-19 was introduced into the House of Commons in June this year, with its second reading taking place five days later. The Committee Stage, which consisted of a single evidence session and a single scrutiny session, took place on June 25th, with no amendments to the Bill being tabled.
“The Bill focussed on the Government’s commitment to alter the length of time between revaluations of rateable values in the business rates system, and was aimed at bring forward the date of the next revaluation, from 2022 to to 2021 in both England and Wales. In England, it was earmarked to replace the existing five-year cycle with a three-year cycle, with subsequent revaluations in 2024, 2027 and so forth,” he explained.
The proposed tri-annual review pattern was the culmination of a long-fought battle by the industry and professional bodies to inject more reality into the Rating system.
The Bill was presented to parliament in order to deliver commitments originating in the 2017 Budget and 2018 Spring Statement, but with the urgency around our departure from the EU, these have not taken precedence.
Andrew concluded: “Some very positive Bills were announced yesterday, but it’s vital that the Chancellor makes a concrete commitment to UK businesses on November 6th by pledging to iron out the ongoing frustrations in the Government’s Check, Challenge, Appeal system, and offer wider business rates reform to aid retailers and firms across the country as a matter of priority.”