Hammond brings forward business rates revaluation

13 Mar 18

Chancellor Philip Hammond has brought forward the next business rates revaluation by a year to 2021, after which three-yearly reviews will take effect.

The chancellor has said in his Spring Statement today reducing the review cycle from five to three years, announced in the autumn Budget last year, will help businesses as it “makes bills more accurately reflect the current rental value of properties”.

He also said in his speech today £80m of funding will be released to support small business to engage with apprentices, although he did not say where the money would come from.

The chancellor announced a deal had been reached with the West Midlands Combined Authority, which would provide 215,000 homes by 2030-31 aided by a £100m grant from the land remediation fund.

Hammond also held out the prospect of increased spending in the Budget in the autumn, pointing to a number of favourable factors in the economy.

“I am not one of those who thinks every penny must be used to reduce the deficit or one of those who thinks every penny must be spent immediately,” he told the Commons.

“I will set overall public spending at the Budget and there will be a detailed spending review in 2019.

“If in the autumn public finances continue to reflect [recent] improvements I would have capacity to enable further increases in public spending and investment in the years ahead.”

He added: “We will deliver a balanced approach to debt reduction and investment in Britain’s future.”

He gave a progress report on measures announced last autumn, saying 44 areas were working on bids to the £4.1bn Housing Infrastructure Fund and cities were now invited to bid for the remaining £840m from the £1.7bn announced last autumn for local transport improvements.

An interim report from Sir Oliver Letwin on his review into the gap between the number of planning permissions being granted against those built in areas of high demand has also been released.

“It is clear from our investigation of large sites that differences of tenure are critical,” he wrote in a letter to the chancellor and housing secretary Sajid Javid.

“We have seen ample evidence from our site visits that the rate of completion of the ‘affordable’ and ‘social rented’ homes is constrained by the requirement for cross-subsidy from the open market housing on the site.”

His final report should be given in the Budget in the autumn and a draft analysis in June.

Thirteen consultation documents were released alongside the Spring Statement, including one on corporate tax and the digital economy, cash and digital payments in the new economy, and on an alternative method of VAT collection.

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