Chancellor throws High Street a lifeline says CBRE

18th November 2022 | Jack Oliver

The Chancellor has thrown the high street a “lifeline”, said real estate giant CBRE, following yesterday’s Autumn Statement.

Jeremy Hunt’s statement said the Government was committed to helping the High Street and small businesses.

The Autumn Statement pledged targeted support to help with business rates costs worth £13.6bn over five years. The statement also declared that business rates multipliers will be frozen in 2023-24.

Tim Attridge, head of UK ratings at CBRE Advisory Services, said: “The expected reductions in the business rates tax of 30-60% will be realised in full across the retail sector as [the Chancellor] has removed the caps which previously prevented this. He has also stated that inflation will not impact the multiplier used to calculate the tax. Quite possibly the best news for retail and indeed all struggling businesses for some considerable time.”

Scott Murdoch, chairman, added: “This is the most significant rating moment I can recall in my career. Rates payable have been out of sync with rents for some time, creating issues which have led and contributed toward some significant structural change amongst many retailers. A rate reduction of this scale now allows for harmonisation in the retail market on both the landlord and tenant side and furthermore, allows for consequential savings across the country.”

However, not everyone feels enough has been done to help retailers. The national chair of the Federation of Small Business, Martin McTague, said the Chancellor “missed an opportunity”.

“When you look at the last two recessions we’ve gone through, most of the recovery has come from the small business sector, and he needed the help of small business owners to get out of this mess, and I’m afraid he let them down”, he added.

Kay Buxton, chief executive of Marble Arch London BID, said they were “disappointed” that more support was not offered to businesses in hospitality and leisure.

“The sector has had to deal with many challenges over the past few years and is now having to battle with high inflation, soaring energy bills, a global recession and rising cost of living.”


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