Chancellor Sajid Javid’s debut spending review has been met with disappointment over its lack of action on business rates.
John Webber, head of rating at property services firm Colliers International, said the chancellor had “missed a trick” in his failure to specifically address how business rates would be reformed in the future.
The spending review was announced yesterday.
A total of £241m was pledged towards helping regenerating town centres and high streets, but there was little detail on where and how the money would be allocated and spent.
“Such spending in itself will not be enough to counter the impact of the 2017 business rates revaluation,” said Webber. “It just simply won’t go far enough to help retailers struggling with their current rates bills.”
“It would be much better to get to the heart of the high street’s problem immediately.”
He called instead for funds to be allocated “to remove downwards transitions and reduce the [business rates] multiplier” for retailers.
This additional cash injection follows prime minister Boris Johnson’s announcement last week that the £1bn Future High Streets Fund, which is aiming to review UK high streets, would be expanded to 50 additional towns.