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JLL’s Head of Rating responds to business rates letter from Sajid Javid MP

London, 21 February, 2017 - In response to a letter Sajid Javid MP & David Gauke MP sent to fellow Conservative MP’s regarding business rates bills all companies in England will receive in coming weeks, and the nervousness among businesses due to the "distortions and half-truths", Tim Beattie, Head of Rating, JLL, comments: “It is rather disingenuous of Sajid Javid MP and David Gauke MP to say that, “the right of appeal is not being scrapped” given there are current proposals to alter it so radically that legitimate appeals are likely to be dismissed by the relevant authorities.

“The intention to limit the discretion of the Valuation Office Agency and the Valuation Tribunal for England (and by implication the higher courts) to make a change to the rating list to those situations where the rateable value is “outside the bounds of reasonable professional judgement” is a fundamental and regressive step. The government must recognise how crucial this is and how it will change the administration of business rates as a tax, as well as the negative effect on the perception of the tax among ratepayers.

“In my view, the appeal changes are against the law of natural justice and these concerns have been highlighted on numerous occasions not least in responses to the government’s own consultation paper last autumn to which the government has not yet responded.

“The Department of Communities and Local Government, does not seem to be listening based on the contents of the Sajid Javid and David Gauke letter - let’s hope that the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond is listening - he said as much at the recent 1922 back bench committee meeting.”​