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The country has voted for ‘change’: Property experts give their views

5th Jul 24 1:02 pm

The country has voted for “change” and as such the Labour Party has won a landslide victory on Friday.

The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said the country has “spoken” and “change begins now.”

Property experts have provided their views on what changes they would like to see from the new Labour government.

John Webber, Head of Business Rates at Colliers said, “Given the size of the landslide victory, there should be no excuse for the Labour party to avoid addressing the business rates problem or to introduce significant reform.

“We urge reform, as opposed to abolition, to ensure local authorities continue to receive the stable funding they need.

“After more than 30 years of mismanagement from successive governments, we now have a multiplier which at over 50p in the pound, means a 50% tax on property occupation, a complicated relief system with business rates deserts in some parts of the country and an appeal system that’s inefficient, lacking transparency and increasingly difficult for businesses to negotiate without an adviser. The current system is just not fit for purpose.

“British business deserves more. Let’s hope Labour listens to what we and other professionals and businesses in the sector have been calling for- and don’t just throw the baby out with the bath water. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to tackle the current system: rebase the multiplier to something businesses can afford, review the relief system so that everyone that uses local services pays something, reform the appeal system and to regulate business rates advisers, so businesses are not at the mercy of rogue traders.

“We will continue our lobbying role to try and persuade the new administration to create a fair property tax that is affordable, transparent and easy to administer, encouraging businesses to expand and invest rather than downsize or even close down their bricks-and-mortar estates.”

 Call for Labour to be balanced over PRS

Gary Wright, CEO of deposit alternative specialists, flatfair, said, “It is no surprise to see Labour winning the election by such a huge margin, the country has been crying out for change and have given Keir Starmer the mandate to make that change happen.

“A clear area requiring urgent attention is housing and more importantly affordability. Let’s hope he can live up to his pledge to build 1.5m new homes in the next 5 years, only house building can fundamentally improve the affordability crisis.

“Until that happens renters will remain under huge cost pressures and deposit alternatives will provide an important choice in allowing tenants to reduce their upfront costs of renting.

“But the government must take a balanced approach around renting to ensure landlords are not put off being landlords as this would only make supply issues worse and push costs up even higher.

“We will watch Labour progress with great interest…”

Labour expected to follow prudent economic policies

Kimberley Gates, Karis Capital said, “Typically, the build-up to an election can cause stagnation and uncertainty in the financial markets, however, we have seen inflation continue to drop and interest remains stable.

“Labour’s success and mandate to present their new government structure to King Charles will hopefully be seen as a positive step forward for the country and act as a boost to the sector. We expect this Labour government to follow prudent economic policies, with the potential of boosting growth, and their initial policy pledges have potential but there is still uncertainty on the areas they will target to boost the public purse.

“In its manifesto, Labour pledged ambitious plans to grow the economy and coupled with tentative expectations that the next interest rate announcement will see the first cuts in some time this could lead to more optimism in the market and increase activity.

“However, poor effectiveness of the plans or too much of a focus on taxing wealth, assets and institutions could lead to lower-than-expected growth, which will have adverse implications on the private investment and finance sector.”

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