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LONDON, 19th March 2014- Commenting on the Government’s residential policy announcements, Adam Challis, Head of Residential Research at JLL said: “We welcome the announcement of a new Development Investment Bank for small house builders and self-builders. The barriers to entry are too high for this group, which has weakened competition, innovation and importantly the ability to deliver higher volumes of new supply across the UK.
“This investment bank is exactly the sort of strategic intervention needed to expand housing supply and this Government deserves credit for acting so decisively to drive a step-change in housebuilding.”
On the announcement relating to increased funding to boost British exports, Alex Ash, Director in Business and Location Consulting at JLL commented: “For companies looking to re-shore the Government could do more to ease regulations and offer greater incentives such as job creation grants, to entice companies back to the UK. The extra funding that the Chancellor has announced for the UK Trade &Investment Department is a positive move but it needs to be deployed in a sensible and more direct way to be of benefit to businesses. This could be achieved through incentivising companies to re-shore and through better promotion of the UK as a good place to do business.”
On the issue of business rates, Tim Beattie, Lead Director in Rating at JLL said: “The Chancellor’s announcement to extend the deadline by which businesses will need to have located in an Enterprise Zone in order to claim business rate discounts to 31 March 2018 is warmly welcomed. However this is a missed opportunity to announce a fundamental reform of the business rate system and align it with other tax policies announced today, such as using the same principle as the personal tax allowance and remove the smallest assessments from liability altogether. Annual revaluations based on self-assessment should also have been considered following the next revaluation”
Tim Vallance, Lead Director in Retail at JLL, added: “In last year’s Autumn Statement the Chancellor threw the retail industry a bone by announcing a 2 per cent cap and rate relief, but what struggling retailers would benefit from is an announcement about bringing forward valuations and a guarantee about future valuations being undertaken on a more frequent basis. Our recent research highlighted that 40 per cent of UK locations are losing out as a result of the deferral and further damage to the UK high street is inevitable if revaluations are delayed in the future.”
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