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News Release

Budget 2017: Property consultancy, JLL responds to business rates announcement

​LONDON, 8 March 2017 - In response to Chancellor Philip Hammond’s comments on business rates during his UK Budget 2017 announcement today, head of rating, Tim Beattie, at global property consultancy JLL, said: “Philip Hammond indicated that he was prepared to listen to the concerns of those most negatively affected by the business rates hike but what has offered will provide no real comfort and is a missed opportunity to implement the changes that are urgently required.

“He has largely ignored the impact on London, which will still see large increases in both the retail and office sectors for most businesses. The announcement that business rates will be reformed, is on the face of it welcome news. However, business will be frustrated that they have been told they will have to wait until the next revaluation in 2022 before any real changes are made. This is far too little too late and business will conclude that Mr Hammond was not listening after all.”

Commenting on the impacts on Central London retail, due to see some of the biggest changes, JLL’s Duncan Gilliard, Central London retail agency director, said: “We cannot deny that there are some serious headwinds in store for London retailers. These include heavy rate bills, rising employment costs following the National Living Wage increase and rising import costs. But there is no doubt in my mind that London retail will continue to weather the storm. This is mainly thanks to its position as a top location for international retailers compared to its global peers. Those innovative retailers with customer-focused digital strategies, strong cost management and a well-located store portfolio will continue to thrive in spite of these challenges.”