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ACS presses Government on rates data

13 November, 2012

ACS chief executive James Lowman has today given evidence to the Growth and Infrastructure Bill Committee, urging the Government to give more details on the impact of delaying business rates revaluation by two years.

The Government has described the measure – to be introduced as part of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill – as pro-business, because it brings certainty over rates bills, but ACS is concerned that the analysis provided thus far is based on estimates and assumptions and does not give an accurate indication of the impact on different retail businesses including convenience stores.

Lowman said: “Businesses which have seen their rental values decline more than average since the last revaluation was conducted in 2010 will be burdened with artificially high rates for another two years, while businesses that have proportionately stronger rental values will effectively be subsidised. There will be winners and losers, but we fear that on balance high street and neighbourhood retailers will lose out because of declining rental values in these locations.

“The Government's own data shows that in the North of England in particular, there are likely to be more losers than winners from the delay in business rate revaluation. We need more detail on the locations where rental values have declined most significantly, because at present we are unconvinced that small shops will be beneficiaries of the revaluation delay.”

The Growth and Infrastructure Bill Committee is scrutinising the Bill, which plans to speed up the planning system for major infrastructure projects, delay the business rate revaluation, and introduce powers to promote employee share ownership in exchange for giving up defined employment rights.