Business rates / Employment / General / 25 November 2015

Business rates - BBPA reaction to Autumn Statement

BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:

“The extension of Small Business Rate Relief for another year is welcome, and is worth £25 million, and is something we had specifically requested. One third of pubs will qualify, 15,000 premises, in total.

“However, it is very disappointing that the Chancellor has not extended retail relief for a further year – this is effectively a £1,500 tax increase for the majority of pubs, and will add £46 million to pubs’ rates bills.

“Retail relief was providing a discount for pubs with a rateable value of £50k or less, which is 75 per cent of all pubs. This is a particular problem in the run-up to the revaluation in 2017 as rates bills have become out of kilter with the value of individual businesses.

“Britain’s pubs face a total tax bill of £7.3 billion per year, so we will be keeping up the pressure for further measures, such as more action on both beer duty and business rates, as we move towards the Budget in March.

“I do welcome the announcement that small businesses like pubs will typically not be burdened with the Apprenticeship Levy, as this would have placed an excessive burden on what are mostly small businesses. It is crucial that the Levy system is straightforward and allows those that pay into the Levy fund to access their full contribution to support apprenticeships.

“I also welcome the £40 million for Visit England to fund product development, given the vital role that pubs play in the wider tourism industry.”

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