The international real estate firm described the offer by the Communities Secretary as a ‘drop in the ocean’ and more needed to be done.
The target assistance of £415m – which follows on from the Autumn Statement – is good news for smaller businesses and high street retailers, although most chains will be excluded from fully benefiting from the majority of the measures announced.
However, the issue and problems created by the postponement of the 2015 Rating Revaluation to 2017, and the consequential delay in redistributing rating burden more evenly have not been addressed.
Similarly the current uncertainty about the overall direction of travel in terms of non-domestic rates – whether there will be a root and branch review after 2017 or just further refinements at the margins – leaves local authorities, ratepayers, and professional advisors without the clarity about the tax liability that the system should deliver.
John Webber, Head of Rating at Colliers International, said: “It would have cost the Government £50m to complete the 2015 Rating Revaluation, therefore a fraction of £415m announced today. That would have produced far more tangible benefits to the High Street outside of London.
“There has been a lot of talk about flood defences over the last few weeks - the High Street is still financially under water.”
Mark Charlton, Head of Research and Forecasting at Colliers International commented: “Any contribution to struggling high street retailers should be welcomed, but it does little to address the fundamental issues impacting our high streets.
“New funding mechanisms are needed to support the long-term vision and major repositioning of our town centres in order to provide a much broader range of functions to service local communities in the decades ahead.”
You can read more about the government’s long-term economic plans here.