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News Release


Little more than first-aid from the Budget

as region waits for Midlands Engine Strategy

​BIRMINGHAM, 8 March 2017 - Property adviser JLL's Midlands team has dubbed the Chancellor's Spring Budget “little more than sticking plasters" and hoped more substance would come forward about the Midlands Engine tomorrow.

"We're pleased to hear that local authorities would receive financial support to dilute the impact of business rate rises, and that £23m would be spent removing 'pinch-points' on crowded Midlands highways. However, he said the latter sum was “miniscule” in relation to the money needed to be invested in congestion and only a fraction of the £90m the north will receive.

“The Chancellor identified many of the crucial issues facing the economy, and had obviously listened to the business community's concerns about the impact of business rate rises,” said Cornock.

“Unfortunately, what he has offered will provide no real comfort, and companies impacted by the new rates must wait until the 2022 revaluation, before genuine changes can be made.

“As with the £23m which is supposed to eradicate 'pinch-points', the news on business rates is like having a surgeon decide that major surgery is required on a patient, but then a first-aider comes up and offers little more than sticking plasters.

”We have to hope, that the government is serious about the Midlands Engine and that as a region we will get the real investment in infrastructure needed to drive it forward further."