The PRA has warned that the government’s attempts to impose rates on cash machines could be extended to electric vehicle charging points.
Last year retailers including Sainsbury’s, Tesco and the Co-op and the ATM provider Cardtronics won a Court of Appeal case against the Valuation Office Agency overturning the VOA’s decision that ATM’s should be assessed for additional business rates. It was estimated this would mean retailers were owed £496m in refunds.
However, at the end of May it was announced that the VOA had received approved from the Supreme Court to appeal the verdict.
In a letter to the newly appointed transport minister, Micheal Ellis, PRA chairman Brian Madderson drew attention to the case and said: “You should be aware of this decision as it could easily be extended to electric vehicle charging points at petrol filling stations should the VOA win its case at the Supreme Court.
“These charging points will be installed separately and if ATMs aren’t safe from the over-zealous VOA, then charging points will be the next logical target in the firing line.
“This will render the purchase of electric vehicle infrastructure, already viewed as a highly speculative venture given how tiny the electric car market remains, even more risky and thousands of retailers could be deterred from investing.
“This will need urgent clarification in the next Finance Bill or the knock-on effect for the government’s agenda on both climate change and air quality could be severe.”