The industry has accused the Government of having “little desire” to carry out meaningful business rates reform following the Autumn Statement.

Despite the Government promising to report on the structural review of business rates by the end of the year, in his speech on November 25, George Osborne said the results would be pushed back until next year. The results will now be announced in the March 2016 Budget.

"It seems there is little desire now for meaningful change to a broken system"

“We know the Valuation Office Agency has already revalued 500,000 businesses based upon the existing regime, spending nearly £30m this year,” said business rates expert Paul Turner Mitchell. “They say the review has had no effect on their work.

“With David Cameron recently saying the review was more about distribution of revenue, it seems there is little desire now for meaningful change to a broken system.”

James Lowman, ACS chief executive, added: “Businesses need certainty to be able to effectively plan for the future, and we urge the chancellor to consult with businesses now as he develops these proposals.”

Osborne said the small business rates relief scheme would be extended for 600,000 businesses for another year and reiterated his plans to devolve business rates to local authorities, giving elected mayors the ability to raise or reduce rates – a move he called
“revolutionary”.

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