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London, 24th November 2015 – Ahead of Wednesday’s Autumn Statement, JLL experts comment on what they feel should be top of the Chancellor’s priority list.
Katie Kopec is head of Development & Consulting at JLL. She said: “Businesses banging the drum for the government to stump up infrastructure spend may have started to sound boring, but it illustrates how imperative it is to the fabric of the economy. The UK’s infrastructure is still a major weakness when it comes to attracting international investment and it is hoped that the statement will have a strong focus on improving road and rail networks. The National Infrastructure Committee should focus on these as a matter of priority, but the Committee and the Government can’t also afford to ignore the looming skills crisis. Without the right construction skills our ability to build the right transport and network hubs is obviously in jeopardy. The Government also needs to help support the flow of funding to developers so new workplaces and office space can be built, allowing UK plc to offer the workspace and connectivity needed to facilitate business growth.
“Crossrail 2 needs to be recognised as the next step for London to maintain the growth momentum after Crossrail has opened. It opens up further access to talent in more affordable areas of London and will help underpin the Government’s business growth agenda.”
Tim Beattie, Head of Rating at JLL, said: “Government plans to localise rates won’t reduce the rates burden nor make them easier to understand. The proposals run the risk of favouring wealthier local authorities at the expense of others, increasing tensions of geographical inequality. Theoretically, devolution of rates will enable local authorities to discount rates, but it is difficult to see how and why they would want to reduce a valuable income stream at a time when there are wider government funding cuts happening.
“Revaluations initially every 3 years, then moving to biennial or annual would be the best way of helping those shouldering the rates burden. This will redistribute rates according to current market values.”
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