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Responding to the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Autumn Statement at the end of last week, Harry Baines, Partner & Head of Commercial, Shouler & Son, commented:

“As the fourth formal statement of its kind this year (2022) from a Chancellor of the Exchequer, the 17th November statement is to be welcomed for its temperance.

“The significance of business rates to the commercial property sector was acknowledged and, for this, many business owners will be thankful.

“There is a package of measures costed at £13.6 billion centred around business rates.

“This comes as the sector prepares for the introduction next April (2023) of the first new valuations régime since 2017.

“Measures announced by the Chancellor regarding reforming transitional relief, freezing the business rates multiplier and specific, targeted assistance for the retail, hospitality and leisure sector - among other measures in the package - will bring a degree of comfort to many operators.

“However welcome, these measures will do little to ameliorate the concerns of businesses when set against facing an ongoing domestic cost of living crisis and global economic headwinds.

“That being said, we can be relieved that the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement was delivered and, to date, has been received in a less volatile atmosphere than similar statements earlier this year.”

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