... how PASC came about.
In October 2016, the Valuation Office revealed the details of the new Business Rates Revaluation. After having tried to work with the Valuation Office through EASCO, (English Association of Self-Catering Operators) for several years, it was clear that little had been taken on board. The rises were clearly unsustainable and we began to try and work with both the Valuation Office and the Government to try and get substantial change to the ratings.
The Valuation Office was inflexible and maintained that the increases were in line with business increases over the period. As a result, we had to prove that the rises were substantial, and the only way to prove this was to make sure that we gathered ALL the data, so that the Valuation office could not say that we have been selective in our research.
Alistair Handyside set up an informal ‘crowd funding’ exercise to fund the following activity:
Gather all the data on all self-catering ratings in England and Wales
Commission a report to reveal the findings
Engage with professional Lobbying and PR to promote the report as widely as possible
Work with other sectors and organisations involved in lobbying against the rises
This report (available on the Reports page) has now been downloaded over 1100 times and over 250 printed copies have been circulated. The report and the supporting activity were major contributors to the mitigation on Business Rates announced by the Chancellor in his various Budgets. It was the most comprehensive report into the impact of business rate rises produced by any sector.
However, these concessions only last until April 2018, when the full effect of the rises will come into effect. We need to be well organised and well-funded to once again raise the issue with Government and to maintain the momentum started by that initial crowd funding. We must continue to pressure the Valuation Office into realising that their basis for rating our professional sector is wrong.
This work led to the formation of PASC. An organisation focussed on the impacts of taxation and regulation in our sector. We looked at other Associations to see which had been successful, and the nearest model was the Association of Scottish Self Caterers, the ASSC. With a full-time Chief Executive, support staff and a wide Membership, they have achieved much in Scotland, and form the basis for our business model. We are already collaborating with them and will be working closely together going forwards.
The contacts and networks established during the above period will stand us well as PASC gains traction. It is now time for you to show your support for PASC.