Saturday 17 August 2019

All Retail Property is Theft

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Uncle Jez can almost touch the levers, {leavers?} of power.Tantalisingly close to his fingertips. The Socialist Utopia is  only weeks away. And so the benign mask the excitement. Revealing Karl or maybe even Josef, underneath.

The 'Retail Emergency' requires a five year plan. A collectivisation of commerce. A confiscation of the land of the Kulaks. The giving to the people of that bourgeoisie land that they can work. As a high street farm  Mechanisation, comrades, will free the serfs from the toil of profit obsessed industry.

JEREMY CORBYN has unveiled astonishing plans to nationalise the High Street by seizing control of empty shops.

The Labour leader said vacant properties would be given to community projects and fledgling firms to help revitalise town centres. But the staggering property grab was branded “crude and woolly” and experts warned it was more likely to fuel the problem than solve it. Mr Corbyn said he wanted to give local councils the power to hand over empty shops to start-ups, co-operative businesses and local groups.

Retail has lost 200,000 jobs in two years. It has lost over two million jobs since 2008. Something that has escaped the MSM, who rush down to a steel mill of a few thousand jobs to demand government intervention
 Retail jobs are disappearing faster than any other sector. And will continue to be lost at the same fast rate due to  falling demand. Over taxation. The domino effect of failure and automation.

Price isn't a big factor in occupancy numbers, at present. If you want the big,empty, former BHS store at your local town, the landlord will listen to any proposals you have. Will give you a low rent deal. probably, on those white elephant stores, a no rent deal.

Mr Korbyn,  the shops are not empty because greedy aristos are demanding too much for them. They are empty as they are not required.

The days of the greedy landlord, are over. The 1990s and millennium era retail boom is history.

Kobyn's plans are Zimbabwe or Venezuela economics. Hand over the land to people without the skills, knowledge, capital, drive, vision, work ethic,or desire to have them. It is a recipe for shortages, inflation and mass corruption. The next recession will be here long before any boom that could have supported a neophyte start-up.

As Mr Drew has pointed out many times, it doesn't take much for the Marxists to do immense damage, in even a short period of time. 
 Johnnie has already said he wants your garden for tax. And your inherited or second home, to be confiscated.

The gears of history are turning in the factories of the proletariat. The Great Revolution is at hand. And as a bonus, it will be an Oktober one too!



phil5 said...

"The landlord will listen to any proposals you have". I don't think everyone's got the memo actually. Look at this in Bournemouth:

"... upward-only rent reviews" - wtf?

Bill Quango MP said...

Mad. I signed a no rent deal for 12 months. And a fixed rent at just 40% of today's payments, for three years. Signed those both this week.

Bill Quango MP said...

Bournemouth was somewhere I was looking at back in July. Loads of empty units and it is plagued by the poor parking.
Its one of my favourite towns. Its an enourmous place. But it has a decay look all about it.
Those beautiful arcades are being abandonded.

The retail parks looked lively enough. Helped by the free parking.
{when the gov and councils learn - sigh}

John in Cheshire said...

I suspect that if the beta males in the commie labour party are able to do these things, the high streets will be crowded with more bloody charity shops and house prices will plummet, together with illegal but allowed Jerry building on the larger gardens for the unwanted illegal immigrants to occupy.

Communism, socialism, Nazism, Marxism, fascism, whatever these collectivists are calling themselves, never works. If they really wanted to do something useful, they'd get a proper job, filling in pot holes in our roads or cleaning up after their traveler mates have moved on to desecrate another piece of land.

Anonymous said...

How much would it help town centers if councils just abolished parking charges and business rates in these locations - at least for 5 years? Or is the concept of a town center as a shopping destination dead?

Anonymous said...

Couldn't all the retail space be remodelled as residential? Lord knows its needed.

Anonymous said...

Parking charges and rates are a huge earner for councils. They cannot afford to drop them. Unless the tax is replaced elsewhere.
Free parking would be a major incentive to shop. But people increasingly resist the traffic of going to a town in the first place. So that will only slow, not reverse the trend away.

As we wrote here at the time, government needed to take action to prevent the likely loss of high streets. Government did very, very little. And consequently, the decline accelerated. The financial crash further accelerated the demise of high streets.
Shoppers with less income searched out better deals. Online, without the huge cost of retail, is cheaper. The playing field wasn’t levelled.
Still hasn’t been. Only last week retailers were begging for some relief from HMG.

Government still has no plan on how to move the tax take from shops to online and redistribute it to local councils.
It’s a big task. That no one in authority has really attempted to deal with.

Anonymous said...

You want free parking? Come to Wealden DC, East Sussex. Don't know for how much longer but we've held out till now.

formertory said...

Government still has no plan on how to move the tax take from shops to online

And neither should they. Online retailers can move elsewhere, bricks and mortar can't. And Amazon and the rest employ hundreds of thousands of people, all paying income tax and NI, plus Employer NI to Government. In addition they deliver lower prices and greater convenience to millions. Why is this not a good thing?

If local Councils want more money then they have Council Tax as a mechanism - but know they'd have a tiger by the tail - or perhaps they might look at trimming salaries and benefits and payroll. I know of one Local Authority whose Council Tax receipts were, last time I looked, less than the 21% of salary they contribute to their employee's pension scheme....... (unusual, I know, but there we are). Is that really value for money, or is it a giant fraud?

DJK said...

formertory: Not sure what you're saying here. Should councils renege on the pension promises they made to employees? Some authorities in the US have done that and it is not an edifying sight.

Most local authority income comes from central government funds; council tax income is fairly small, so there is a gearing effect. To increase total revenue by x%, council tax must increase by several times x. Thus the link between voter choice over spending vs tax is weak.

Anonymous said...

@BQ - a lot of it depends on the landlord. A few years back we negotiated discount (hindsight, we could have negotiated a much larger one), however what killed the deal was the utter slowness of sorting things out with them.

Their property is still empty, and they're hoping for a rent a quarter we were open to paying.

Anonymous said...

@formertory - Amazon aren't going to abandon the UK if they have to pay more tax. For starters their shopping empire isn't where they make their money, it's AWS. There's a frightening level of reliance on it in various tentacles of civilisation.

Nations are also expensive beasts to run. Money has to come from somewhere, and people like lots of free-at-point-of-need services which, when they're the voters, beats ideology every time.

I'd be intrigued to see a %age tax based on market share, so anyone trying to gain a monopoly to rent seek gets to pay through the nose for the pleasure. Seems to be a fairer version of business rates to migrate online.

Anonymous said...

Don't believe political leaning has anything to do with it. Whatever colour of the spectrum your politics are, it makes no difference if you are bloody incompetent.

Take Call me Dave (Cameron) and Mary Portas. Fanfare and then nothing.

As Anon @ 1:37 points out, if you can't tax it then you are stuffed unless you find another income stream. Just like airlines, shopping can move elsewhere.

Swiss Bob said...

To some extent we've already seen the start of this. I used to live in Richmond in SW London and a visit these days is to walk past a series of charity shops and "pop-up" stores and temporary e-cigarette outlets which might not be "community" but are presumably tenants of last resort. Note it's not just the High Street, the likes of Intu, with its shopping centres, are in a pickle too. But it's another thing to seize the space.

Facetiously I can see "Party approved" outlets opening up, eg a shop holding workshops on union rights sponsored by Unite, a Palestine solidarity café as this seems to be a vital subject for many Labour members.

Anonymous said...

Swiss has surely spotted what El Presidente Corbyn has in mind.
Workers poetry seminar spaces.
Truth And Reconciliation Centres.
Collectives for Party flag and bandana makers.
A stone cutting and brass smelting store. That will be needed. Those sixty foot high statues of Corbyn aren’t goi g to just make themselves.

It is a wonderful vision of the future.

E-K said...

The future is virtual reality. Half of us are emersed in it already.

formertory said...

Not sure what you're saying here. Should councils renege on the pension promises they made to employees? Some authorities in the US have done that and it is not an edifying sight.

No, I'm not saying Councils should renege on promises made to employees but since the rest of us are underwriting their pension "promises" while Government and Local Authorities renege happily on undertakings they've given elsewhere, it may be something they shall have to consider.

Once again, the private sector feels the dead hand of the public sector and Government generally on its shoulder.

How much would it help town centers if councils just abolished parking charges and business rates in these locations - at least for 5 years?

Ridiculous. Car parks cost money to maintain and insure. They represent land in towns and cities which could have been given over to better or more productive use. And like hospital car parks, if you make the parking free, the staff will have filled it up before the organisation opens for business so the customers or patients won't be able to use them anyway. If retailers want "free" parking for customers, they need to consider moving to an area where land is cheaper and so they (retailers) can pay, or they need to just pay for the existing parking.

Bill Quango MP said...


You miss the point a bit.

Shops ALREADY pay for the car parks. Each business in your town high street is paying somewhere between £10,000 and £250,000 in rates. Each one! That is on top of the rents, that will be a similar or higher amount.

They get absolubtely NOTHING in return.

If all the rates money was pooled,by the retailers, bypassing the local authority, and the retailers had to spend it locally, you would have free parking. With a free car wash. Free firework displays and money and footfall generating events at regular intervals. The streets would be cleaner, and policed. The chuggers and muggers would be discouraged.
The restrictions would be less restrictive and the innovations far less 'community cuddly, JezFezt nionesense. And more of a practical and sustainable , and rebuilding nature.

DJK said...

formertory: "I'm not saying Councils should renege on promises ... it may be something they shall have to consider."

Well which is it? Should they keep their promises or should they consider reneging on them?

The fact that the Maxwells and BHSs of this world break pension promises is not a reason for branches of government to do the same. Otherwise, where are we, what is the point of contracts and the rule of law?

formertory said...

DJK: I have no idea which it is. Managing their funding and liabilities is something for the highly-rewarded people running Councils to sort out, not for me. I simply point out there are different ways of approaching the problem, falling loosely under the term "reform". You, on the other hand, seem to believe that Councils should have carte blanche to plunder citizens' bank accounts to fund any historical (or hysterical) commitments that might have been made in a different time and in different circumstances. Private sector businesses have to weigh these demands all the time.

BQ MP: I'm happy in principle to defer to your much greater wisdom on stuff like this as I've never worked in retail, but I'm curious about the assertion that businesses get "absolutely NOTHING in return". Roads to the shops? Traffic lights? Street lighting? Litter collection? Local authority services?

Plus to the extent that I understand the dismal science, the incidence of business rates falls on the landlord........ who passes it to the shopkeeper........... who passes it to muggins, unless the landlord can be persuaded to absorb it or demand lower rent (very much as you've recently done). Wasn't it Tesco who wanted a 2% tax on turnover to replace business rates, a year or so ago? Just a way of formalising the burden on to the customer.

I'm very happy to accept your assertion that if business rates were collected and used without the involvement of the Council, the whole thing would be singing "Hallelujah" 24 hours a day and we'd have a much better High Street competing with online retailers. And there, in that very point, lies the origin of my point to DJK. What value does the Council add, while it's demanding money with menaces from landlords (OK, or retailers if you insist) and adding vast sums to salaries and pensions for its staff. And if the value is nothing, how the hell do they get away with it, and at what point does the Council get forced to reconsider its position on what it does and how it does it? And whether its staff deserve their salaries and benefits?

OFA99 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
rwendland said...

Bill Quango MP> Each business in your town high street is paying somewhere between £10,000 and £250,000 in rates. Each one!

Well, not if you are a small business and are in a single shop with rateable value of £12,000 or less - when you get 100% business rate relief. So you pay zilch business rates (and at lower relief up to £15,000 rateable value). And that's been in place a few years at least.

So it puzzles me when I read newspaper stories about how business rates are killing the small individual shop-owner, when they are at a huge advantage to the chains on business rates? What do the larger shop-owners think about this big subsidy to their competition Bill?