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Business rates / 19 November 2015

Business Rates - industry bodies join forces in call for fairer deal for pubs in Autumn Statement

With the Chancellor due to deliver his Autumn Statement on 25th November, key pub industry bodies have written jointly to George Osborne, calling for further action to secure a fairer deal for pubs.
The letter, from the BBPA, ALMR, FLVA, BII, SIBA, BFBI, BSDA, and GMV, sets out three Business Rates priorities for pubs:
• Freeze the business rates multiplier, benefiting all pubs and worth around £5m to the sector
• Extend small business rate relief for another year, benefitting a third of pubs, or 15,000 pubs
• Apply Retail Relief – a scheme that provides a discount for pubs with a rateable value of £50k or less – for another year and increase the discount to £2,000 per annum, per pub

Stark figures in the letter points to BBPA research showing that pubs are particularly disadvantaged by Business Rates, paying around 2.8 per cent of all UK receipts from this tax, despite accounting for just 0.5 per cent of turnover – a hugely burdensome overpayment of £500 million per year.

The letter also makes clear that relief for pubs is critical, given the growing degree to which pubs are now disadvantaged, as result of delays to the rates revaluation process, which will see new rateable values come into force in April 2017.

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:
“More action from the Government in the Autumn Statement is needed, as pubs are hugely overburdened. In the longer term, we need to ensure that the rates burden can be spread across a much wider range of business, and across the whole economy.”

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said:
“The businesses that are driving growth across the UK’s high streets are bearing a disproportionate burden. The Government must act decisively to ensure a fair and flexible system that treats all businesses equally in the way they are assessed and encourages success.”

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