John Webber Head of Rating at Colliers International described the Labour leader’s speech to the party conference in Brighton today (24 September 2013) where Ed Miliband promised that a Labour government would freeze business rates across the country as a “sticking plaster rather than a cure.”
“Whilst any move to make things easier and more affordable would be welcomed by the high street and businesses across the UK. What they really need is a fundamental review of the business rates system,” explained Webber.
He continued: “By granting relief across the whole country Labour, would in effect, be helping business in more prosperous areas – like London and the South East – that don’t necessarily need the help; at the expense of those that do. What will make the greatest difference to ailing high streets and business is an immediate revaluation, rather than the sticking plaster that labour is offering.”
Ed Miliband announced that if Labour is to win at the next election it would freeze rates for businesses across the UK, with a rateable value of less than £50,000 at 2014 levels for three years from 2015. This would be paid for by reversing the Government’s planned 1% corporation tax reduction for that year.
You can also read John Webbers comments to the FT, "Labour leader Miliband announces plan to raise corporation tax"