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News Release

London

JLL’s Head of UK Retail comments on Labour Party’s business rates pledge


​Commenting on today’s announcement by shadow chancellor Ed Balls that the Labour Party would make a cut in business rates a Budget priority, Tim Vallance, Head of JLL’s UK Retail and Leisure team, said:  “Over 100 companies across the retail and property industries have lent support to the British Retail Consortium’s campaign to reform rates.  It is good to see that this pressure appears to be having effect, and it will be interesting to see how the other political parties react. 

“Commitments to cutting business rates are helpful, but the fundamental problem shouldn’t be overlooked. Property valuations need to be brought forward; at the same time future valuations need to be undertaken more frequently as further damage to the UK high street is inevitable if revaluations are deferred. The revaluation system isn’t flawed, it is just lagging behind changes in market values.

“JLL researched the financial impact of the delay in rate revaluation to retailers across the UK the results of which highlighted the extent of rate overpayment by retailers. Hardest hit was east England, where 63 per cent of retailers are paying more than they should. In the East Midlands, 56 per cent are paying more and in the Northwest the figure stands at 55 per cent.   
“Changes in market rents will move with changing demand for space so business rates should also reflect this. Improving business rates and relaxing planning rules will be the key to the vexed question of how we ‘save’ our high streets.”