Queen’s Speech: Devolved business rates could lead to uneven growth across the country

18 May 2016

Policy area: Tax & Finance

The British Property Federation has commented on legislation to allow local authorities to retain 100% of their business rates and to give combined authority Mayors the power to raise additional funding for infrastructure within the Local Growth and Jobs Bill announced today.

Melanie Leech, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “The measures that will provide an incentive for local authorities to encourage investment in their area are very welcome. Local areas know their infrastructure needs best, and this could help them unlock important projects. 

“We know that the government would be legislating to bring forward the devolution of business rates, but the lack of detail means that our concerns remain that the devolution of business rates has the potential to introduce considerable complexity for both rate payers and landlords, particularly those who operate across the country. We would like to see government ensure that devolution of this sort does not exacerbate disparities between economic performances of local areas.”