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News Release


Grant cut disguised by ‘smoke and mirrors’ of business rates devolution

JLL reacts to business rates announcement in the Autumn Statement

tim beattie.jpg

LONDON, 25th November 2015 – Commenting on the announcement that government grants will be cut as local authorities take more control of business rates, Tim Beattie, Head of Rating at JLL, said: “Headlines might focus on the abolition of the uniform business rate and the devolution of power to local authorities, but this has been known for a while.

“The real, and potentially damaging change, comes in the phasing out of the grant that the Chancellor announced in the statement and that has been disguised by a series of smoke and mirrors. He argues that Local Authorities keeping the proceeds of business rates and other self-financed income sources will mean that central government funding will not be required, but the government grants currently account for a stomping 25% of local revenue. If this is taken away, authorities will be reliant upon their self-generating income of which business rates will comprise a large part. They may therefore not be able to afford to lower the rate multiplier which will in turn not relieve the rate burden that many occupiers are trying to deal with.”