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Business rates revaluation delay 'to cost North and Midlands £2.3bn'

Businesses in northern England and the Midlands could lose £2.3bn because of the government’s two-year deferment of the business rates revaluation, property consultancy Bilfinger GVA has claimed.

Retailers will be hit hardest, accounting for 46% of the loss.

Bilfinger GVA calculated the effects of a 2015 rates revaluation for England had it taken place by the original deadline of today, and compared it with what businesses will have to pay over the course of the deferred period, until 2017.

The findings suggest the North and Midlands face the highest overpayments on rates, while the East, Southeast and Southwest will be £640m out of pocket.

London businesses will benefit, saving more than £1.5bn. However, they can therefore expect to be hit hard when the deferred revaluation is carried out in 2017.

David Jones, senior director in Bilfinger GVA’s business rates team, said: “The government has responded to growing calls across the business community for what it terms a ‘root and branch’ reform of the business rates system.

“However, it is important to remember that the government is committed for any changes to be fiscally neutral, so any major reforms to the system will still create winners and losers.

“They are very much responsible for much of the controversy over the current system for delaying the revaluation from 2015 to 2017. Our research clearly highlights the regions and sectors that have paid the highest price for the delay.”

@KirstyMcGregor

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