Hudson appointed to lead business rates review
Former director general for public services Andrew Hudson has been appointed to lead the review of the business rates system by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.
Hudson is also a former chief executive of the Valuation Office Agency and his independent review will aim to build on the Macpherson review of 2013.
Announcing the appointment, secretary of state for housing, communities and local government Sajid Javid said: “As we move towards local government retaining 75% of locally collected business rates, it is vital that the business rates retention system operates as smoothly as possible. This review, led by an independent expert in this field, will ensure robust processes across the board.”
The government is planning to increase the share of business rates that English councils retain from 50% to 75% by 2020.
In his Spring Statement earlier this year, chancellor Philip Hammond promised that the frequency of business rates valuations would change from five to three years and brought forward the next business rates valuation to 2021.
Speaking to Property Week about the appointment, John Webber, head of business rates at Colliers International, said: “Whilst we are pleased that the Government has announced it will be reviewing the business rate system, our concern is that this does not just paper over the issues. Unless one properly looks at the system of reliefs, admits that CCA isn’t working, invests in the VOA, provides some support for retailers and businesses hammered by the 2017 Revaluation and addresses the rogue element in the profession, we won’t get very far.
“The system needs root and branch reform- not a tinkering at the edges. Andrew Hudson comes from the Head of VOA. It will be interesting to see if has the objectivity and ear to the ground to understand the pain businesses are experiencing with the current system and the desire and remit to do something about it. Or was he the man last seen rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic sailing down Shaftesbury Avenue?”
By Richard Hook at Property Week