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 responds to Conservative manifesto

    25 November 2019

    The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing Britain’s Brewers and pubs, has today responded to the publication of the Conservative Party manifesto. The manifesto has outlined that the Conservative Party would: Cut business rates for small retail businesses including pubs Establish a £150 million Community Ownership Fund to help purchase community assets including pubs Review alcohol duty to ensure the tax system is supporting British drink producers Commenting on the manifesto, a British Beer & Pub Association spokesperson said: "Pubs are the heart of our communities, so the commitment to ease their tax burden is welcome. Three pubs a day close their doors for good due to the tax pressures they face. "On business rates, pubs pay 2.8% of the total rates bill, despite accounting for just 0.5% of turnover. Reducing rates for pubs is an important step in the right direction. Such reliefs are vital until the fundamentally unfair system is overhauled. “When it comes to community pubs, what is needed is investment and support. It is important that measures to bolster the rights of individual communities to purchase pubs do not act as a disincentive to invest in or operate a pub business. “The commitment to review alcohol duty to support British drink producers is very welcome. Beer tax is a particular burden for pubs where 7 out of 10 alcoholic drinks sold are beer, a lower strength British made product. Particularly as we pay 11 times more beer duty than both Spain and Germany. “A freeze or cut in beer tax at the next budget is the most direct way of helping pubs stay viable. It would also show that Boris Johnson is listening to the 220,000 supporters of the Long Live the Local campaign, calling on the next government to cut beer tax to support local pubs and the communities they serve. With a further 109,000 people also writing to their MP calling on them to support pubs by cutting beer tax, it is imperative the next government recognises the strength of feeling on the matter.”

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  • BBPA responds to Labour manifesto

    21 November 2019

    The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing Britain’s Brewers and pubs, has today responded to the publication of the Labour Party manifesto. The manifesto has outlined that the Labour Party would: List pubs as Assets of Community Value so community groups could buy local pubs under threat of closing Replace Business Rates with a land value tax Introduce four new bank holidays celebrating the four patron saints’ days Review the evidence on the effect of minimum unit pricing of alcohol Label alcoholic drinks with “clear health warnings” Commenting on the manifesto, Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said: “The Labour Party has rightly noted in its manifesto that too many pubs are closing. “When it comes to community pubs, what is needed is investment and support. It is important that measures to bolster the rights of individual communities to purchase pubs do not act as a disincentive to invest in or operate a pub business. “Given that seven in ten alcoholic drinks sold in a pub are beer, the most direct way of keeping pubs viable remains a cut in beer duty. This would answer the call of the 220,000 people who have signed the Long Live the Local petition calling on the next Chancellor to cut beer duty, supporting local pubs and the communities they serve. A further 109,000 people have also written to their MP calling on them to support pubs by cutting beer tax, showing the strength of feeling on the matter, which the next Government must recognise. “The current business rates system is hugely unfair on pubs – they pay 2.8% of the business rates bill, despite accounting for just 0.5% of turnover. A complete overhaul of the existing system is required, but at this stage it is not clear if Labour’s land value tax will directly help pubs. “Additional bank holidays will hopefully be a boost for the pub trade, and could be done in tandem with extended hours to give a further uplift. “Minimum Unit Pricing should be carefully evaluated before a proposal is considered in England. Particularly as it has only been in place in Scotland for just over a year. “As an industry, we already clearly label our products with health information including alcohol units and ABV, as well as signposting to Drinkaware where the full guidance on low risk drinking can be found.”

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