Positive confirmation on commitment to CPI indexation.27 July 2017
As you may be aware there was some recent speculation that government would renege on its commitment to move the means of inflating the UBR from RPI to the historically lower CPI, due to pressure to increase public spending elsewhere.
As such, a group of business organisations including ourselves collaborated to seek assurances from the Chancellor on this matter, and our letter and his response are attached.
Further, we sought clarification that statements made at Budget 2017, following pressure from business groups, government ministers in other departments and the media, on rebalancing the tax take so it took into account the impact of business rates on physical retailing and more broadly on places and communities, are taken forward.
The joint letter can be accessed here, and Philip Hammond's reply here. These assurances, and confirmation that a move to CPI will be taken forward, are contained within.
Clearly there is more to do, and as we have discussed at different committees business rates needs to be considered in the context of wider local government finance changes. The absence of the Local Government Finance Bill in the Queen’s Speech was disappointing, but we will continue to engage with Ministers and officials on next stages for this extremely important part of government’s domestic policy agenda.