Today, George Osborne has ignored the industry’s call to freeze business rates and the Government will continue with the postponement of 2015 Rating Revaluation until at least 2017.

John Webber, Head of Rating at Colliers International, said: “This is a real missed opportunity for the Government to help many businesses. Business rates are their biggest outgoing after payroll and rent, and the Government’s failure to act will mean that weaker businesses will shoulder a much greater burden of business rates for at least two additional years while those stronger businesses will be subsidised. The Mary Portas Towns will be significant losers from the postponement.”

“A cancellation of the 2015 Rating Revaluation as proposed in clauses 25 and 26 of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill will only accelerate the demise of our High Street. The Aspiration Nation does not extend to our blighted town centres – perhaps George Osborne is confused with the aspirations of the shoppers in Bond Street! No doubt they will be raising a glass of beer to him in some of the pubs in the West End but in those pubs that are still trading in regional centres such as Wolverhampton, Stockport and Blackpool they may be drowning their sorrows after this Budget.”

In 2012, Colliers International launched an e-petition on the government website Gov.uk which called on ministers to scrap plans to delay the 2015 rates revaluation until 2017 – a measure contained in the Growth and Infrastructure Bill passing through parliament.