I hope the politicians get out of their ivory towers, see what a desperate state the high street is in and do something before it gets to the point of no return – which is looming.
At the very least, the government should heed calls for business rates reform and create a fairer tax. It should freeze business rate rises, remove downward phasing and look to reduce the multiplier so that businesses don’t pay an effective 50% tax.
We need to reform the disastrous new CCA business rates appeals system, which limits access to a fair appeal. But I expect that nothing will be done to solve the issues businesses and the high street face. The government is too tied up with Brexit negotiations.
Resolution: As newly elected chair of the RICS Rating Diploma Holders’ Section, I hope to bring some influence to bear on those who should be listening to the call for reform and I’ll work hard to make sure we keep up the campaign. On a personal level, I hope to get my golf handicap below 21 and to see Aston Villa promoted to the Premier League.
John Webber, head of business rates, Colliers International