This week, the Rating Surveyors' Association (RSA) has been invited to appear before the Treasury Select Committee to assist them with their ongoing Inquiry into Business Rates and, specifically, the impact that the system is having on business.
I'm looking forward to joining Immediate Past President Tom Emlyn Jones, President Tom Stratton and Honorary Secretary Debbie Warwick.
The RSA, whose aim is the betterment of the rating system for all stakeholders, intends, as always, to present a balanced view. Not partisan but cross party. That cannot extend to either an unsustainable defence of the system or an all out assault. Indeed neither would be appropriate. The system is overly complex and the level of liability it seeks to raise from individual ratepayers is excessive, but there are merits. It is not broken beyond repair and any alternative could be worse.
Now is the time for a thorough review. No more tinkering around the edges but a concerted effort to make the system work for ratepayer and government alike.
We will offer our opinions. They will be opinions among many.
The question however, is the government ready to listen?