Commenting on the Marcus Jones’ criticism of local authorities over business rates revaluations, Cllr Claire Kober OBE, Chair of London Councils, said:
“It is disappointing that in response to the understandable concerns of London’s businesses the government has chosen to criticise local government for delays which are beyond its control, rather than dealing with the underlying issue – the business rates valuation system itself.
"The Government must provide certainty to local government and business about the finance system beyond 2020 as a matter of urgency and should set out, as soon as possible, and its longer term ambitions for the sustainability of the business rates system.”
Notes to Editor
- London Councils repeatedly called for the government to rethink its implementation of the 2017 business rates revaluation, which saw disproportionate increases for the capital’s businesses. These warnings were not heeded, and ministers only intervened at the 11th hour, after councils had already printed and sent bills out.
- When the relief – a quick fix solution to a much more fundamental problem – was announced, London Councils again warned it would take time to deliver as this would rightly require councils to consult on their individual schemes. This was not helped by the fact the government did not respond to consultation on the scheme and only confirmed final allocations in the middle of the general election period, and the fact that any changes to bills must be tested and agreed with software providers.