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London, 16th March 2016 – Commenting on changes to business rates, Tim Beattie, head of Rating at JLL, said: "Although it has been a long time coming, it's very welcome news that 600,000 small businesses will be released from the business rates burden. Linking the rate measurement to CPI as opposed to RPI is something that retailers and businesses have been clamouring for for years and while this is positive news, it seems a little odd that it is being introduced in 2020 when there is no reason why it can't be implemented now.
"Business will also warmly welcome the news that the Chancellor aims to introduce more frequent revaluations as it will ensure that liabilities are much more aligned to the prevailing economic conditions going forward.
"It will be interesting to see how the retention of rates by the GLA pans out. In theory it could mean lower rates, but of course cuts in central government funding may mean that this does not translate into hard cash reductions.
"The Chancellor said that he wants to make tax simpler, but the new bureaucratic business rates appeal system known as Check Challenge Appeal runs contrary to this. It was the government's stated aim in today's Budget to simplify business taxation and given that the Chancellor estimates that 600,000 businesses will not be paying rates, surely the system is a ripe contender for simplification."
On residential announcements, Adam Challis head of Residential Research at JLL commented :"New Stamp Duty changes will impact large investors without exemption. This is an extraordinary lost opportunity to support the growth of Build to Rent and undermines this nascent sector. Private renters have once again been overlooked."
In relation to Garden Suburbs, he added: "Garden suburbs are a more practical, deliverable approach to solving the UK's housing crisis than the wholesale Garden City. The programme will need a lot of engagement with local communities if it is to be welcomed but could be a big step in the right direction."
Reacting to the new lifetime ISA announcement, Adam Challis said: "Further support to save a deposit to buy a home is great news for first-time buyers."
On the Crossrail 2 announcement James Finnis, head of South East Office Agency at JLL, said: "The delivery of Crossrail 2 will result in substantial benefits for London and the wider South East, including improved accessibility, the opening up of new development opportunities and value add to the London economy through job creation and increased capacity in the transportation infrastructure. "Crossrail 2 will complement the Elizabeth Line by dramatically reducing journey times between London and the wider South East regional markets. It will further improve the connectivity of many South West and North/North East London suburbs with towns like Cambridge, Basingstoke, Woking and Guildford to benefit from better and more frequent rail connectivity through London and increasing the attractiveness of these destinations as places to live and do business."
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