New business rates unfair says London business leaders

Monday 16 January 2016

New business rates unfair says London business leaders

New businesses rates announced earlier this year could see a third of businesses paying more in the charge than in rent, a survey for the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry has found.

It also showed that two in five businesses were concerned about the new business rates that were announced in October and will be introduced in April 2017.

The survey of more than 500 businesses commissioned by LCCI and conducted by ComRes found:

• Two in five (42%) London businesses say they are concerned about the new business rates that will come into effect on 1 April 2017.
• London businesses are more likely to disagree (29%) than agree (18%) that the new business rates valuation their company has received is fair, although half (52%) say they don't know.
• 33% of London businesses say the new business rates valuation will mean their business pays more in business rates than in rent next year; 23% disagree, 44% don't know.

When the new rates were announced LCCI was among an unprecedented alliance of business leaders and politicians who called the new rates "crippling" and called for a "fundamental review" of the system to prevent London being hit so hard in the future.

Chief Executive of LCCI, Colin Stanbridge said: "The business rates revaluation has been labored and complication from start to finish. We saw businesses concerned about the revaluations even before they were announced in October.

"We said after the announcements that the revaluation of apparent 40% plus hikes were a huge blow to London, with our primary concern being that businesses may decide to hold back on training, recruiting or investing in other areas.

"These concerns are born out in this survey with only 18 per cent of businesses saying that the revaluation is fair.

"What is also astounding is that a third of businesses will find themselves paying more in business rates than rent, inevitably leading to cut back, or relocation.

"In order to prevent these hikes we would like to see  London's business rates could be 'de-coupled' from the national valuation system, whereby an increase in London's rateable values would not inevitably lead to significant increases in business rates."

ENDS

Media contact
Katharine McGee
T: +44 (0)20 7203 1897     
M: +44 (0)7827 241528
E: kmcgee@londonchamber.co.uk


NOTES TO EDITOR:
1. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
2. Colin Stanbridge, chief executive is available for further comment and interview.
3. ComRes surveyed 502 London business decision makers online between 2rd and 22st November 2016.
Data was weighted to be representative of all London businesses by company size and broad industry sector.
ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Data tables are available at www.comresglobal.com