Business rates

Business rates are a major cost to pubs, who pay a disproportionate amount compared to other sectors. In April 2017 there was a revaluation of rates across the UK, with many pubs seeing further significant increases. We believe major reform is required and until that point additional relief should be given specifically for pubs.

  • BBPA Budget response – Good news for pubs in the short-term, long-term stimulus still needed to secure the great British pub 

    03 March 2021

    BBPA responds to Chancellor’s Budget worth over £1.5 billion for brewers and pubs  Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget speech, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of British Beer & Pub Association, said: “We welcome the Chancellor’s announcement of continued support for the devastated pub sector in the form of additional grants, as well as extensions to the job retention scheme, 5% hospitality VAT rate and business rates holiday. “The new grants are worth £400 million for pubs and will go some way in helping many of them survive through to the time when they can reopen and operate viably. It is, however, crucial that the Government ensures all pubs benefit, including those that are part of a group, by removing the current State Aid cap. “The extension of the job retention scheme until September will help save thousands of pub jobs. Worth £700 million to our pubs and brewers, it gives the sector time to reopen and rebuild trade before bringing all staff back, which would otherwise be too costly and unviable whilst still facing trading restrictions until end of June. “It is imperative that the Government allows pubs to operate without restrictions as planned from 21st June. This will give them the best chance to get back on their feet and serve their communities. “Extending the 5% VAT hospitality rate until September and at 12.5% thereafter is most welcome. We calculate it is worth £485 million to pubs. With all pubs having been closed for so long, the lower VAT rate has been of limited benefit so far, tens of thousands of pubs will not benefit from this until they reopen on 17th May at the earliest and then still at reduced capacity. However, wet led pubs will be especially disappointed again that the reduction will not apply to all beverages so they too can benefit from this. “We campaigned hard for an extension of the business rates holiday and the Chancellor announced a 100% cut on rates until June and up to a 66% cut for the following 9 months. This is good news, but the proposed cap will mean many pub businesses will not benefit fully from this. We await to see more detail. “Having called for a cut in beer duty and being a staunch supporter of the Long Live The Local campaign, a beer duty freeze will be seen as much needed short-term relief for the sector. However, the Chancellor has only partially listened to the 500,000 campaign supporters who signed the petition calling for a cut in beer duty. We now hope the Government will use the ongoing Alcohol Duty Review to cut beer duty to support our brewers and pubs and level the playing field with other brewing nations. The Government must support and promote Britain’s extraordinary pub and brewing sector in the way other Government’s support their domestic industries. “Overall, this is a good Budget for pubs and breweries in the short term, reflecting just how vital they are to the social, cultural and economic fabric of our communities. “However, this is just the start of the journey on the hard road to long-term recovery for our sector. The Chancellor has made it clear today he recognises the vital role local pubs play in their communities. Now he must continue that commitment by ensuring Britain’s pubs and breweries are supported in the long term. This should start by extending the VAT cut on hospitality to all drinks until at least the end of the year. We also need a fundamental reform of VAT, business rates and beer duty to ensure that the thousands of pubs and breweries across the UK can thrive and help drive the social and economic recovery we urgently need.”

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  • Eat Out to Help Out Scheme hands £250 million back to Government whilst saving thousands of jobs

    08 September 2020

    Trade bodies reveal new data showing direct financial benefit to Government of Scheme and boost to hospitality sector Trade bodies the British Beer & Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping and UKHospitality have revealed new data today showing that the Eat Out To Help Out Scheme directly benefitted the Government to the tune of £250 million, whilst also saving thousands of jobs in the pub and hospitality sector. The new data follows figures announced by the Government last week which revealed that a total of 130,000 claims were received for the Scheme equating to a cost of £522 million for the Government, with further claims still to be made. However, with the Scheme directly contributing £250 million in additional revenue for the Government, as well as boosting consumer confidence to go back again and enjoy the hospitality sector going forwards, the scheme has already delivered a significant return. According to the data from the trade associations, the Scheme enabled 200,000 staff in the pub and hospitality sector to come out of furlough early to facilitate the increase in trade generated by the initiative. This alone saved the Government almost £150 million in furlough costs. VAT generated on additional food and soft drink sales from the Scheme generated £30 million for the Treasury and additional sales of alcoholic drinks that accompanied the meals was estimated to have boosted duty and VAT revenues by a further £65 million. The trade bodies said the Eat Out to Help Out Scheme had shown a significant return on investment for the Government, whilst also helping to kick start the long road to recovery of the hospitality sector and the economy as a whole as it returns from lockdown. They said further Government investment in the sector was still needed though to get it through the Autumn months and to help ensure a full recovery into the new year. They called for further Government investment in the sector to boost growth by extending the reduction on VAT rates, reforming Business Rates and cutting beer duty ahead of the next Budget and upcoming Government reviews into Business Rates and Alcohol Duty.   Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme has clearly been a success for the Government, pubs and hospitality alike. It has saved tens of thousands of jobs, helped with the recovery of the economy and boosted our sector at a much needed time. “Investing in our sector clearly delivers, and we still need further support from the Government if it is to fully recover like we know it can. With the upcoming Autumn Budget, as well as the Business Rates Review, now is an unparalleled time to greatly reduce beer duty, Business Rates and VAT in our sector to give it the significant boost it needs to survive and thrive. Now is the time for the Government to continue investing in our sector to deliver a strong recovery and job security.”   Kate Nicholls, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, said: “Eat Out to Help Out was a shot in the arm for consumer confidence in eating and drinking out of home, right across the country. It gave our businesses the opportunity to showcase the investment they had made to keep customers safe while also making them feel welcome. “As we approach Winter we need to ensure the right support in place to stimulate a more sustained demand. A significant starting point would be to extend the VAT cut, ensuring the business rates holiday is continued next year and getting more of the UK economy back on its feet, including those businesses that remain closed.”   Steve Alton, Chief Executive of the British Institute of Innkeeping, said: “Strengthening consumer confidence has been critical to kick-starting the recovery of the hospitality sector, as well as the wider economy.  The Government investment in Eat Out to Help Out and reduced VAT has allowed many pubs to start their recovery with a better than expected August trading. “Further Government support will be required building on this investment to ensure pubs are sustainable businesses in the long term.”

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