WPA response to the Chancellor’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021

27 Oct 2021

Read our response to the Government’s Autumn Budget and Spending Review 2021 below.


The WPA has welcomed the cancellation of the multiplier in 2022 and the announcement of a 50% discount for sectors most impacted by the pandemic, along with more frequent valuations, however it is concerned that the measures only tinker with the issues threatening the high street.

Paul Williams, WPA Chair and CEO of Derwent London, said:

“The continuing failure to address business rates reform is disappointing, and a missed opportunity for the property sector, the wider economy, and Central London’s recovery. What is needed is the decisive and comprehensive reform of an outdated system which is clearly holding back the recovery of the high street. The current system is continuing to put good businesses, which make a vital contribution to the creation of vibrant urban centres, at a significant disadvantage to their online competitors.”



Paul Williams, WPA Chair and CEO of Derwent London, said:

“We welcome the announcement on the introduction of a new rates relief on investments which will help make commercial property greener and more sustainable. Property accounts for 40% of all carbon emissions nationally, and whilst leading companies are already investing heavily to reduce their impact on the environment and support the drive to net zero, policies which both encourage and compel greater investment to ensure greater compliance are essential.”



Charles Begley, Chief Executive of the London Property Alliance, said:

 “Following the recent publication of our joint report on ‘City Region Connectivity’, and engagement with a range of senior political figures during the party conferences, we welcome the Chancellor’s announcement today.

 The confirmation of a £6.9bn funding package, which takes forward many of our recommendations on improving inter-city connectivity across city regions, will provide a boost to our cities and help enable them to fulfil the potential of the talent and skills of businesses and people throughout the country. Continued investment in all cities, including London, is critical to the economic and social prosperity of the UK, particularly as we continue to recover from the pandemic.”  

Read coverage from EG (£) on the response of the property sector to the Budget Review here. Read coverage from the Financial Times (£) on the response of the real estate sector to the Budget Review here.

Read our asks of the Treasury, submitted ahead of the Comprehensive Spending Review and Budget:

  1. Allow further fiscal devolution to local government, including the GLA, to facilitate the retention of a greater proportion of business rates revenue and the ability to consider the imposition of other additional levies/additional taxes to support growth.
  2. Provide a capital funding package to support continued investment in London’s existing public infrastructure, including a continuation of the underground upgrade programme as well as a commitment to ‘active travel’ such as cycle lanes and ebike infrastructure.
  3. Use London’s inner-city infrastructure as a template for regional city connectivity and consider how the roll-out of light-rail and tram systems can help drive growth and productivity in core cities.
  4. Restore tax-free shopping for international visitors which can help drive a recovery in tourism in London and other major UK cities.
  5. Provide three-year additional revenue support package for Transport for London to safeguard services, and to facilitate more innovative and flexible ticket models to help accelerate the return to offices.
  6. Cap inflationary rail fare increase for 2022 to help sustain the return of office workers and to remove a cost disincentive from commuting into central London and other UK city centres.
  7. Provide leadership and positive messaging around the return to the office and the broader social economic benefits that brings and implement a consistent and cross-government return to the office strategy.
  8. Provide dedicated capital grant scheme for complex retrofit projects, particularly those involving listed and historic buildings that are integral to central London’s unique character.
  9. Consider the provision of additional grant funding to support the development of green homes within central and inner London where land values are highest, and delivery of affordable homes is vital to support key workers.

See our full submission to the Chancellor here.