Logo

Comment: the business rates rise in London is all of our business

PUBLISHED: 19:22 14 March 2017 | UPDATED: 19:34 14 March 2017

Many of our local shops and pubs could be forced to close after the new and exorbitant tax rates come in on April 1

Many of our local shops and pubs could be forced to close after the new and exorbitant tax rates come in on April 1

MachineHeadz

There was no reprieve for businesses in Philip Hammond’s budget last week, and for north London locals it’s personal

Another day, another looming disaster for London as the government stubbornly tries to apply a one size fits all approach to a much divided country.

As I predicted last week, there was no repeal on stamp duty announced in Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget.

Homeowners and estate agents weren’t the only ones bitterly disappointed in the budget.

There was no last minute reprieve for the business rates rise, which will see everyone from small independent shops and to big banks slapped with a hefty tax bill as of April 1

The rate is tied to the estimated rental value of the property the business occupies. Owners will have to pay the tax regardless of how much profit they make.

The effect is more pronounced because the re-evaluation, which usually occurs every five years, was pushed back by two years so as not to interfere with the election.

The rates were last set in 2008, and rents in the capital have risen sharply since then.

As with stamp duty, London will be disproportionately affected by the rates hike, and hundreds of our high street shops and pubs could go under.

A report from the Federation of Small Businesses, part funded by Camden Town Unlimited, makes for worrisome reading.

On average, a London micro businesses employing fewer than 10 people will have to find an extra £17,000.

74 per cent of the businesses surveyed said that the upcoming rates rise was the single biggest issue they were currently facing.

Even big chains will struggle to absorb the costs. The TGI Friday’s on Leicester Square will pay £2 million more in tax over the next five years.

It’s hardly the epitome of London’s culinary offering, but it’s a prime example of how mad this scheme is when applied to London’s already bonkers property market.

Everyone from fringe theatres in rooms above pubs to West End plays will have to scramble to find the extra cash.

Dinner and a show will only get more expensive for the average Londoner as businesses try to cover their spiralling costs.

We’re looking at a London where everyone stays at home inside their overpriced and undersized rental, drinking supermarket cider, whilst shopping online for products picked out for you by a human drone in a warehouse and delivered to your door.

(In a twist so dark it’s almost dystopian, the rates re-evaluation will see Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct warehouse in Derbyshire save almost £900,000. The company is currently at the centre of a scandal for paying its employees below minimum wage.)

How can I predict this bleak and dreary future? I know, because I’ve already lived in it.

My particular bête noire is when people refer to areas in and around Hampstead and Highgate as villages. ‘Try living in a village for five years,’ I want to cry, ‘see how you like it then!’

There’s nothing to do in England’s rural villages any more. The pubs are shutting. The village shop, if you’re lucky enough to still have one, is a chain. All there is to do is sit in a field drinking supermarket cider. The only shops available are online. My Saturday job as a teenager was in a supermarket as a human drone picking out other people’s internet shopping.

We’re so lucky to live in a part of the country that has an embarrassment of opportunities to shop locally.

Our new glossy interiors magazine Homestead launches on Thursday, and in it you’ll find a definitive directory of our best and brightest local artisans and shopkeepers in Hampstead, Highgate and beyond. Shameless plug aside, we cannot stand to lose them.

What’s the point of high rents if we can’t enjoy the benefits of city living? Not to mention the value added to your property by living close to what estate agents love to call ‘local amenities’. It’s mercenary, but if they go out of business it could negatively affect the price affect the price of your home.

North London is about to get a taste of what living in a real village could be like. This tax might be on businesses, but this time it’s personal.

You know the drill: go on protests, sign petitions, and write to your MP. But most importantly vote with your feet, and by that I mean footfall.

Go to your local shops, chat with their owners, spend your cash with them, then take them to your local and buy them a pint. Now is the time to show our support.

Property search


e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Other Hampstead and Highgate property news

Revealed: the most popular postcodes in north London

Where are north London’s movers and shakers, and what postcodes do people prefer to stay true to? India Block puts the Royal Mail moving map data to the test

A room with a BMW: the industrial apartment with a suprise in its garage

A modern mews house currently for sale in Camden Town is putting pedal to the metal by including a car in the asking price

King’s Cross area guide: Harry Potter, restaurants, shops and the station

Your guide to all the things to do in King’s Cross, including the best shops, cafes, pubs and schools. PLUS our guide to property in N1C

Top 3 properties for sale in King’s Cross

This week in King’s Cross there’s a balcony flat, new build with a wrap around roof terrace and a home on a historic crescent

The renting politician: what Sian Berry keeps on her shelf

Sian Berry, 42, was the Green candidate for Mayor in 2008 and in 2016 (coming third). She is a member of the London Assembly and she rents in Archway. Check out her ‘shelfie’ here

Hot properties in Highgate, Stroud Green, Dartmouth Park and Archway

This week’s property picks include an entertaining haven, a stained glass window in Stroud Green and a stunning gothic church conversion

Modernist marvel: a socialist dream and a slice of history

This historic housing block was revered by the modernist masters when it was built, and it’s back on the market for a modern price tag

Property of the week: contemporary apartment with views out over the Heath

A glass balustrade and folding glass doors give uninterrupted views over the pond and Hampstead Heath in this week’s star buy

Centre court: how courtyard architecture can transform your living space

Are courtyards only the preserve of a warm, sunny climate? Belsize Architects’ Shahriar Nasser says no

Pot luck: how to protect your garden pots from breaking

You needn’t go potty over broken pots. Instead, give your terracotta a little TLC

Top tips for designing your dream spiral staircase

Don’t let your stairs spiral out of control with our five tips for designing a new staircase

Camden named as one of least affordable places to buy property in UK

Camden workers have to pay 19.6 times their annual earnings to buy a property in the borough, as UK house prices reach peak un-affordability

Houses in Haringey earn £91k more than their owners do

Homeowners in Haringey could be quids in, with the average home earning £91,000 MORE than residents earn in two years, but those hoping to buy in to the area are left out in the cold.

Your design diary: the best London architecture exhibitions, walks and events to inspire you in 2017

From an imagined 1920s Moscow at the Design Museum to Japanese inspiration at the Barbican, here’s our pick of exhibitions and events to visit

Fix up look sharp: a masterclass in caring for your gardening tools

A good gardener never blames their tools. Ruth Pavey shares an expert’s tips for tool care, plus a tribute to a remarkable woman

Ham OR High: which is the best place to live?

A new Sunday Times poll snubbed Hampstead to crown Highgate one of the best places to live in the UK. Tell us if you agree with our own poll

Crouch end area guide: schools, vintage shops, cinema and pubs

Your guide to all the things to do in Crouch End, including the best shops, cafes, pubs and schools. PLUS our guide to property in N8

Top 3 properties for sale in Crouch End

A five bedroom family home, garden flat, and a mansion block apartment make up the top three properties on offer in Crouch End this week

Best of the bunch: pick yourself a Mother’s Day bouquet masterclass

Make your own beautiful bespoke bouquet for Mother’s Day with royal florist Moyses Stevens’ St Pancras masterclass

Comment: the business rates rise in London is all of our business

There was no reprieve for businesses in Philip Hammond’s budget last week, and for north London locals it’s personal

George Michael’s Highgate house reported to have been handed down to older sister ahead of star’s funeral

Singer’s £10 million Highgate home is reported to have been kept in the family as relatives plan the late star’s funeral, which is expected to take place in Highgate Cemetery

Hot properties: homes for sale in Hampstead village, Crouch End, Highgate and Chalk Farm

This week’s top picks include a Victorian maisonette, a nine bedroom rental property and a charming Grade II listed family home

Property of the week: a Beverly Hills style mansion for just under £12 million

Grab a slice of Hollywood hills living in Highgate with this modern home that comes with its own cinema, gym, swimming pool and wine cellar

Rental role reversal: how stamp duty has shifted north London’s prime property market

Stamp duty has been causing headaches for north London agents and homeowners alike, and now we have the data to prove it. Read the report from the new property landscape in Hampstead and Highgate, where the prime renter is king.

Horticultural Holidays

Need to get away this springtime? Here are the best gardens to see as the weather warms up

The heat is on: 5 top tips for central heating

As winter turns to spring, here are five top tips for fitting, retrofitting and replacing your central heating

How to buy a home with your partner – without risking the relationship

Thinking about taking the plunge and buying a property with a partner? Make sure you have read Simon Gerrard’s expert advice on thinking with your head, not your heart

Green is the new black: why you need to eco-chic your home now

With turbulent times for the environment ahead, meet the enterprising Highgate group who are helping homeowners go green

St John’s Wood property: auctioneer’s highest ever lot sells for above asking price

The semi-detached Victorian house sold above its guide price for £3.25 million

Hampstead Garden Suburb area guide: history, schools, library, synagogue

Your guide to all the things to do in Hampstead Garden Suburb, including the best schools, shops, bars, cafes and culture. PLUS our guide to property in NW11

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

2016 © Archant Community Media Ltd

Terms and conditions | Cookie policy | Jobs at Archant