Budget 2017: Revo makes progress on business rates, digital & housing.

Budget 2017: Revo makes progress on business rates, digital & housing.

23 November 2017

Whilst economic forecasts were downgraded, the Chancellor delivered a politically safe Budget speech yesterday to steady the Government ship, predicated on a drive for new housing. 

There were positive developments on business rates after sustained campaigning by Revo and partners, and we have called on the Chancellor to go further in the review into digital economy taxation. 

Immediately post-Budget, we met with Jake Berry, Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse (DCLG), and we today issue a call to arms for fresh thinking on retail placemaking.

From simple amends to out-there concepts on how we can reform placemaking, shape policy, enhance planning, and better engage with Government, we want to hear them. Submit your ideas here.

We also spoke with Treasury and DCLG officials to feedback on the Budget and continue to make the case for policy change on your behalf.


Revo campaign wins include:

  • Moving forward the timetable for linking the multiplier to CPI indexation from 2020 to 2018
  • More frequent rates revaluations – from 5-yearly to 3-yearly from 2022
  • Increase the investment, speed and rollout of super-fast broadband & digital infrastructure
  • Where appropriate, allow for the conversion of existing commercial stock in town centres to residential use to ease supply and bring footfall back to the high street



Key Budget takeaways for Revo members:


Business Rates & Tax

  • CPI indexation from 2018 and more frequent revaluations from 2022

  • From April 2019, the Government intends to bring non-UK residents within the scope of UK corporation tax or capital gains tax (CGT) on gains arising on the disposal of UK commercial property (to reduce incentives to hold UK property through offshore structures)

  • 100% business rates retention to be piloted in London in 2018-19, to pool and invest revenue growth strategically on a pan-London basis



  • £44bn financial support for Housing (inc £15.3bn new money) and a new target of 300,000 new homes a year by mid-2020s

  • Government will bring forward public / private capital to build five new garden towns, including in areas of high demand such as the South East

  • Consultation on initiatives to introduce minimum densities for housing development, conversion of empty space above highs street shops and commercial buildings to residential



  • Keep flexibility of the Apprenticeships Levy under review

  • A new National Retraining Scheme, particularly to help equip STEM skills or those affected by technology

  • £204m additional funding for the development of skills in the construction sector


Transport & Infrastructure

  • Government will consult on Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) review outcomes including:
    • Removing restriction of Section 106 pooling

    • Speeding up the process of setting / revising CIL to make it easier to respond to changes to the market

    • Allow authorities to set rates which better reflect uplift in land values between a proposed and existing use

    • Give Combined Authorities and planning joint committees with statutory plan-making functions option to levy a Strategic Infrastructure Tariff (SIT) in future (additional to CIL)


  • Increase to the National Productivity Investment Fund from £23bn to £31bn, including:
    • £1.7bn for a Transforming Cities Fund (half for devolved mayoralties, half for competitive bids from other urban centres) for local transport projects

    • £385m for full fibre broadband and 5G networks

    • To support the transition to zero emission vehicles, the government will regulate to support the wider roll-out of charging infrastructure; invest £200 million, to be matched by private investment, into a new £400 million Charging Investment Infrastructure Fund


The full speech and Red Book are available here