Monday, 18 November 2019

Yeah! Go Lib Dems!

Jo Swinson doesn't seem to grasp the logic behind LVT, she's mis-selling it, but good stuff nonetheless from The Daily Mail:

Ms Swinson told delegates:

"The Liberal Democrats are committed to supporting small businesses who are the engine of our economy. That's why the Liberal Democrats would scrap business rates and replace them with a commercial landowner levy. It will shift the burden from the tenant to the landlord so that we can breathe new life into our high streets... It is time for clear action that will give proper help to our small businesses."

Ripping up business rates was mooted by the party in August 2018 by the then leader Vince Cable in a report called Taxing Land, Not Investment. It made clear the levy would be paid by owners, not tenants, and that 'non-residential stamp duty should be scrapped to improve the efficiency of the commercial property market.

Ms Swinson added: "Let's remember what the issues are that we're trying to solve here - businesses on the high street have been struggling for many years now and they find the business rates can be a crippling cost and this is at a time when they're already having to deal with footfall falling, competition from online competitors where they aren't having to pay the same type of rates.

"So I think this is an important change, and clearly it being borne by landlords - some of that may well be passed on but we also recognise it will not all be - and this will provide a significant boost for businesses."


Rational Anarchist said...

It's not going to achieve what they want it to achieve, though.

The incidence of business rates is on the land owner. The incidence of MVT is on the land owner. Thus, the businesses won't be any better or worse off.

Mark Wadsworth said...

R, at the margin. They will be better off, that's what matters.

Lola said...

MW. True. But she still does not 'get it' - in all sorts of ways.

mombers said...

The landowner will be in a much better position to bring rates down in marginal areas - they can say look, I've only been able to rent it out at £x, there's your evidence, please reduce. Challenging upwards revisions in value will be impossible as they will have to evidence rent cuts. Scale will help too, a small business doesn't have the resources to adjust their rates

Mark Wadsworth said...

L, sure, but don't shoot the messenger.

M, exactly. Administratively, it all works much better.

L fairfax said...

Presumably in the very short term it would benefit tenants - until their next rent negotiation.
Of course this is not really a long term fix to solve anything.
Very true.