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London, 2nd March 2017 - Ahead of the Chancellor’s Spring Budget next week, JLL comments on key issues Business Rates & Housing. On Business Rates, Tim Beattie, Lead Director Rating at JLL, commented: “Philip Hammond indicated that he is prepared to listen to the concerns of those most negatively affected by the business rates hike set to take place in April 2017 at the Budget on 8th March. This is in stark contrast to the Department of Communities and Local Government who has so far done very little to address industry fears. The contents of the recent Sajid Javid MP and David Gauke MP letter to fellow Conservative MP’s regarding the nervousness among UK businesses due to the "distortions and half-truths" highlights that their heads are firmly buried in the sand. “While the government considers that there are too many appeals and too few results in a change to the rating list, which I would entirely dispute, at the very least I’d ask that the government doesn’t interfere with the ability of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) and the Valuation Tribunal for England (VTE) to change a rateable value until the need for the measure has been proved within the framework of the new Check Challenge Appeal (CCA) system. “Current proposals to alter appeal rights so significantly will mean that most legitimate challenges are likely to be dismissed by the relevant authorities. These changes will deny ratepayers natural justice and may well also be illegal 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 to. “On 1st April many businesses, particularly those in London, could be facing a 42 percent hike in rates. Given that many bills are already on their way let’s hope it's not a case of too little too late for Mr Hammond.” On housing, Adam Challis, Head of Residential Research at JLL, added: "More than ever, the housing market needs a strong, clear statement about the commitment this Government is making to solve the housing crisis. JLL was pleased to see the White Paper focussed on support for the big changes - Build to Rent, Modular, SMEs, enabling Infrastructure investment - that will make a lasting difference to housing supply and hope this support continues. Government needs to focus on the long-term solutions and where possible, back this up with financial, land and planning support to deliver homes for the full spectrum of housing need."
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