Conservative party promises a full review of business rates

Helen Cahill
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The Conservative party published its manifesto today (Source: Getty)

The Conservative party has responded to concerns about business rates in its manifesto today, promising more frequent re-evaluations of the property tax and a full review of the system.

Business rates were revaluated for the first time in seven years in April, and rocketing tax rates in London caused outrage among many businesses.

Read more: Sainsbury's superstores set for £40m business rates tax cut

Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said that while more frequent business rates re-evaluations were welcome, the system for valuing properties must be more robust and efficient.

Sir Peter Rogers, chairman of the New West End Company, said it was "reassuring" that Prime Minister Theresa May was announcing a review of the business rates system. However, the review must be "far-reaching", he said.

"It is not fair, it is not progressive and it is clearly not based on ability to pay," he said. "Moreover, it fails as an efficient way for businesses to contribute to the ever rising financial requirements of local government services."

Read more: Businesses warn Hammond business rates have reached a "tipping point"

However, not everyone was delighted with the idea of another consultation.

Jerry Schurder, head of business rates at Gerald Eve, said:

Firms will roll their eyes at the prospect of yet another structural review. They have given their views on business rates over and over again - at least five times since 2013 - and it's high time this information was acted on.

Companies don't need more consultation, they need genuine reform of the rating system and they need it now.