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News Release

London

JLL's response to the Chancellor's 2015 Budget


​HS3 and the North of England

Commenting on the Chancellor's announcements to support a 'Northern Powerhouse,' Guy Grainger, CEO, JLL UK said: "The UK has become one of the most attractive places for domestic and international businesses to locate but to stay at the top it is important that an economic powerhouse in the North provides a high quality, fast and accessible alternative to London and the South East. Investment into a 21st century rail network is essential for businesses to access a larger skilled workforce and will enable Northern Cities to combine forces, attract more Investment, development and ultimately jobs.

 

"Access to a large, skilled workforce is ultimately the main factor behind how businesses choose their location. Providing fast links between cities such as Manchester and Leeds will begin to give them the sort of commuter catchment that would attract more world-class companies – helping the northern cities to realise their potential."

 

Business rates

On the issue of business rates, Tim Beattie, Head of Rating at JLL commented: "A review is all well and good, but you have to ask how much a fiscally neutral review can actually achieve. If the retail sector is to benefit from any reform it follows that under a fiscally neutral review there will have to be losers to pay for the winners. That will make it impossible for there to be a consensus and make it easy for the real issues to be sidestepped.

"The Chancellor could have been bolder and considered more flexibility in rates. Allowing for the tax yield to vary with prevailing economic realities, ensuring that the tax base is revalued more frequently and bringing the payment system into the digital age, are changes that are needed. The government might not have got itself in such a pickle over this if they had not decided to postpone the revaluation by two years."     

 

Help for first time buyers

 

Adam Challis, Head of Residential Research at JLL comments: "In this pre-election Budget housing remains a low priority as it is not a part of the winning election ticket. No party has a clear plan either on how to boost housing supply for the long-term – we need cross-party solutions to drive supply and an end to the politicisation of home-ownership. With build rates at barely half current need the long terms solutions for the supply crisis are more important now than ever.

 

"The Help to Buy ISA for first time buyers can only be seen as a positive step, encouraging prudent saving at a time when savings rates available for building a deposit are currently very poor. High house price growth means savings still won't keep up with deposit requirements. This measure is unlikely to have a significant impact on broader house price growth."