FSB: New VOA chief must resolve business rates shambles

Sarah Dunsby

Source: ©Photoshot

Here’s what was said

Tuesday it was announced that Melissa Tatton has been appointed the new chief executive of the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). Mike Cherry, the national chairman at the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), spoke on Tuesday and responded by saying to this announcement: “The Government’s new business rates appeal system has proven to be a total shambles. Ministers promised that the check, challenge, appeal platform would simplify the process of establishing fair business rates bills following April’s delayed revaluation. In fact, the opposite is true.

“We urge the new head of the VOA to publish data on how many businesses have successfully lodged a check, challenge or appeal across England. Equally, we need to see the Government commit to a timeline for improvements to this excessively bureaucratic and cumbersome platform. Any business owner running such an unsuccessful operation would be faced with two options: rapidly reform or close down shop.

“It can’t be right that the burden of proof falls so heavily on business owners under this new system. The requirement to produce all information at stage one puts our time strapped entrepreneurs under huge pressure and will inevitably mean that some legitimate claims are not brought forward. Many small businesses simply don’t have the time or money to bring together their case in full. Our strivers want to get on with running their firms. Instead, they’re spending time protecting themselves from unfair hikes to the regressive business rates tax.” 

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