Chancellor urged to give property market a Budget boost
AS Chancellor George Osborne prepares to deliver his 2013 Budget tomorrow, Gloucestershire property consultants Bruton Knowles are urging him to do more to support the property and construction industry.
The firm said scrapping the empty property rates tax and reversing the decision to postpone the business rates revaluation would be two of the most welcomed announcements Mr Osborne could make.
The firm also wants to see further measures to stimulate development through increased public sector funding, planning assistance and stimuli to increase lending to developers.
Robert Smith, head of commercial agency at Bruton Knowles, said empty property rates was one of the biggest barriers to development, constraining supply of new commercial property.
NEW PROMOTIONS put out each calender month! Dont miss out!
Terms: Terms and conditions are when order is complete in full 5% discount will be given with this voucher!
Contact: 01452 223149
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
"The property industry has been lobbying the Government to scrap the tax since it was first introduced in 2008 and it is time that it listened and took action.
"In his Autumn Statement, the Chancellor acknowledged the pleas by announcing that relief would be granted on new buildings for up to 18 months after completion.
"While this is welcome, frankly it doesn't go far enough.
"One thing Mr Osborne could do is extend the 18 month rate free period to include refurbished commercial property."
Mr Smith also called for the Chancellor to provide more support for the residential sector.
"Initiatives such as NewBuy and FirstBuy to help get first-time buyers back into the market have had some success, but need more time to bed down to have a real impact.
"Extending these schemes could provide the stimulus that is needed.
"However, any support that is granted by central Government to help the housing sector has to be backed up at a local level.
"Housebuilders can only build if the land is available to do so and local authorities grant the necessary planning permissions, which remains one of the biggest challenges facing housebuilders at the moment.
"On a wider level, the focus has to be on regeneration schemes, transport and infrastructure.
"However, the question is who is going to deliver this in the absence of Regional Development Agencies? Local Enterprise Partnerships are very embryonic and do not have a delivery function.
"The Government's focus on Enterprise Zones is encouraging and the appointment of Tory grandee Lord Heseltine to spearhead the initiative demonstrates that the Government is serious about making them work."
For the retail sector, Bruton Knowles said one of the biggest announcements Mr Osborne could make in his Budget is scrapping the proposed postponement of the 2015 business rates revaluation to 2017.
Angus Jackson, associate in the rating team at Bruton Knowles said: "Ratepayers and rating advisers were holding out for the 2015 revaluation as reductions in rateable values were hoped and expected reflecting the downturn.
"The retail sector is facing unprecedented challenges and this postponement will only mean that ratepayers are potentially paying more for longer."