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Colliers slams Government for superficial tackling of business rates issues in the Budget Today

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The Chancellor has missed a golden opportunity to reassure businesses and clarify his business rates strategy in the Budget today says John Webber, Head of Business Rates at Colliers.


The Chancellor has followed through on expectations that he will extend the current 100% 2020/2021 business rates holiday for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors for an extra three months to the end of June and then provide an up to two thirds business rates holiday for the following nine months.

However according to John Webber, Head of Business Rates at Colliers this has done little to help businesses in other sectors who have not had the advantages of the business rates holiday who have also seen genuine hardship. This would include the aviation industry, businesses in manufacturing (particularly those that supply retail/hospitality and leisure) and many offices businesses.

In the office sector in particular, the financial implications of the pandemic have been dramatic for many- as seen by the sheer number of companies appealing their rates bills via MCC (Material Change of Circumstance) Colliers estimate this number is now around 350,000.

“The Chancellor has failed to do anything about these 350,000 MCC business rates appeals snarling up the system, tackle the business rates multiplier now at outrageous levels of £0.51, commit to a 2023 Rating Revaluation, clarify confusing rules on State Aid limits or bring in a business rates arrears moratorium for those businesses, who because of the pandemic have been unable to pay their business rates bills.”

"And to cap it all the Chancellor has granted the VOA a sabbatical for 3 months for no apparent reason  - bad news for office ratepayers whose 2021/22 bills are being printed as we speak."

“Even the rates holiday for retail, leisure and hospitality is not as simple as it sounds. After the first three months it looks like it is going to be really cumbersome for businesses to apply and up to the already over stretched billing authorities to sort out.”

"Whilst we were already disappointed that the Chancellor had delayed the business rate review until the Autumn, we had hoped there would have been something more to say today - it’s been disappointing that yet again he has failed to grab this opportunity. Only skimming the surface on this issue will have dire consequences for many struggling businesses across the board.”

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John Webber

Head of Rating

Rating

Birmingham

I have over 35 years’ experience in the rating industry and lead a 135 plus rating team at Colliers.  When I took over responsibility for the team in 2005, it consisted of only a dozen people and has now grown into one of the leading rating advisory teams in the country.  I am a member of Colliers' UK Management Executive as well as sitting on the company’s Balance in Business Committee. 

I am regularly called upon by the national media to give my views on a range of business rates issues and I am involved in lobbying MPs/ministers and senior civil servants on business rates matters.

I started my career in the Valuation Office Agency in Kidderminster.  I joined Gerald Eve in 2000 where I spent 10 years before moving to Gooch Webster (now Colliers). I sit on the National Retail Panel of Rating Surveyors Association which provides guidance on how the RSA town committees work with the VOA and valuation matters.  I have also held the postion as Chair of the RICS Rating Diploma Committee having passed the prestigious qualification in 2014. I currently sit on the Rating Surveyors Association National Committee .

Along with Philip Harrison we founded 'Accurates' in 2007, the Collier's Compliance and Audit team, which although forms an integral part of the Rating team is now a leading brand in its own right.

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Suzy Simpson

Head of Content, Communications and PR

PR

London - West End

As Head of Content, Communications & PR for Colliers in the UK, I am responsible for driving the strategic direction of corporate communications, media relations, and the programming and production of multi-channel content to engage external and internal audiences across the UK.

Get in touch for help with: 

  • Content Communication Strategy 
  • Media Relations
  • Corporate & Internal Communications
  • Media Training & Personal Brand Training

 

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