Friday, 22 November 2013

"BCC calls for freeze on 'iniquitous’ rent increases"

From The Telegraph:

George Osborne should freeze commercial rents and overhaul the "iniquitous" and "broken" system of index-linked automatic rent increases, one of Britain's leading business groups has demanded this weekend.

The British Chambers of Commerce has urged the Chancellor to use his Autumn Statement to "abolish" upward-only rent reviews in a move that it says would boost the economy by enabling more business investment, helping sales and exports.

In its Autumn Statement submission to the Treasury, the BCC said that commercial rents are "an iniquitous privately collected tax that aggravate already uncertain business cash flow and impose hefty new costs".

It has argued that businesses are suffering under the burden of having to "absorb relentless increases in their rents" – levies that are relentlessly increased "no matter the stage of the economic cycle, company performance or ability to pay"…

John Longworth, the director general of the BCC, said: "There is no question that commercial rents hit companies of all sizes long before they a make profit, and acts as a drag on business growth and investment.

"Most of our members pay more in rent than in corporation tax and business rates put together, for very little in return. Firms across the UK have been crying out for relief from this stealth tax for years but, so far, their pleas have been ignored."


Antisthenes said...

My understanding of economics (which is not much above that of managing a household budget and running businesses from time to time I admit) is that it is all down to supply and demand. If rents are too high then property owners will not rent their properties so eventually rents will fall. It appears the market is working as it should and rents are going up because of demand so the BCC argument fails spectacularly and smacks of another vested interest using the moral argument for gain like unions use the spurious safety argument to win their case (as in the current underground dispute on the underground saying that closing ticket offices is a safety risk;how beats me). However if the argument was that rents are higher than they should be is because of other than market influences such as rules, regulations and political interference then they should be raging against that not looking to freeze rents below costs and thereby diminishing the supply pool. Nearly always problems are identified but the correct solutions to solve them are not.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Anti, this was in fact a spoof article, if you dropped in more often you'd be able to guess straight away which "union" was complaining about "what" (clue; they are campaigning for HIGHER rents, not lower).

Antisthenes said...

MW.I drop in the all the time and most of the time I know which of your articles are spoofs and which are not on this occasion I was taken in. We can all be intellectually challenged on occasion this is not the first time I have embarrassed myself and I doubt it will be the last. I will try to be less gullible in future. However just to make myself look a little better I will say you do write spoofs sometimes very convincingly. I better stop rambling now because I notice the hole maybe getting bigger.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Anti, that's the nicest thing anybody's said to me all day. If nobody were taken in by the spoof, then that's an epic fail on my part :-)

Ben Jamin' said...

You mean coffee shops aren't giving away free groceries?

I wondered why the cute EE lady in Starbucks gave me a strange look and ignored my request for my free 1/2kg of lamb mince.



Robin Smith said...

I nearly fell for it too.

The reason they work so well is because they are pure ART.

You are a far better artist than accountant.