ACS Warns of Potential Impact of Locally Set Business Rates

ACS has responded to the chancellor’s announcement on locally set business rates, raising concerns that rates could rise for local businesses. In his speech to the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester today, the chancellor, George Osborne, has announced that he will “abolish” the current system of business rates and replace it with a system which allows local authorities to set business rates themselves.

ACS chief executive James Lowman said: “The chancellor’s decision to devolve business rate setting powers comes as Government is supposed to be considering responses to a large scale review of the business rates system, of which we have heard nothing yet. One of the consequences of locally set business rates will be that local authorities under financial pressure may be tempted to increase business rates to foot the bill which is why business owners need certainty through a clear national framework. We urgently need to see more details of the chancellor’s plans, and we need reassurance that local shops and other businesses will not see higher rates bills as a result of this policy."

The Government’s consultation on a wider review of business rates was expected to report by the 2016 Budget. In its submission to the consultation, ACS called for more of the smallest businesses to be removed from the rating list entirely and to change the revaluation period from five years to three years to ensure more accurate ratings.

ACS’ full submission to the consultation is available to view on the ACS website, here:

This entry was posted by Victoria on Mon, 05/10/2015 - 13:09