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What do Jeanette Winterson, Lord Tebbit and Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem have in common?

I was looking over some old columns that I did in the latter part of last year and came across one that commented on a petition from the Federation of Small Businesses in London who were complaining about the business rates rises come April.

But what I didn’t truly appreciate was how many sectors, regions, individuals, were going to jump on this particular bandwagon.

Here is a list of the interested or concerned parties that I have come across in the media over the last few weeks and that’s without looking too hard:

  • Any London business (obviously)
  • Bond Street
  • NHS chiefs (media-term not mine)
  • Jeanette Winterson (author and owner of bijou deli in London)
  • Mary Portas (Shopping guru and Twitter friend of Jeanette Winterson)
  • Publicans/ pubs various
  • Scottish renewable energy sites
  • Scottish businesses per se
  • Scottish retailers
  • Cotswolds antique dealers
  • CBI
  • City of London
  • Ludlow
  • Welsh businesses per se
  • Restaurants
  • The Federation of Small Businesses
  • Farnham Traders
  • Cumbria Chamber of Commerce
  • Taxpayers’ Alliance
  • Hoteliers
  • BHS liquidator
  • Independent retailers (non-specific)
  • MPs of both sides of the House
  • House of Lords
  • Farmers
  • Country Land and Business Association
  • Sainsburys
  • Ye Old Trip to Jerusalem – (in Nottingham apparently)
  • Universities
  • Suffolk – small retailers
  • Lord Tebbit

Since 2017 began, the ground swell of voices has become a deluge but surely, they can’t have only just woken up to the changes come April? Regardless, the media has suddenly scented blood and a possible Government U-turn and are waiting with bated breath for Hammond’s next budget on March 8. What is missing from all of the headlines is an explanation of the Government’s transitional rate relief scheme and the headline grabbers who talk about 200% increases etc. are either ignorant of how rating works, or frankly scare mongering…

As I pointed out last week, if Hammond is to give any kind of relief or additional phasing to those worse affected by the revaluation there has to be an equally long list of those who would have to shoulder the financial burden of his largesse.

The revaluation by law has to be fiscally neutral – what the Government gives away they have to claw back elsewhere. Frankly, I think those who have been shouldering the heavier business rates for the past two years deserve a break, but I don’t hear many national voices or “celebrities” speaking out on their behalf.

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