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.

  • 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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  • More than a third of pubs cannot break even one month after reopening

    04 August 2020

    British Beer & Pub Association calls for continued support for sector to ensure full recovery The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing brewers and pubs, has today revealed that over a third of pubs in the UK (37%) cannot break even one month after reopening. The finding, from a survey of the BBPA’s members, comes exactly a month after pubs in England reopened on July 4th for the first time after the COVID-19 lockdown. In the same survey, 25% of brewing and pub sector businesses said they didn’t feel their business was sustainable beyond the end of March 2021 at present. Pubs reopened on 4th July in England, followed by staggered openings elsewhere in the UK. Since reopening, pubs across the whole of the UK have had to implement mitigation measures and follow Government guidelines to ensure they keep customers and staff safe. This includes “one metre plus” social distancing in all pubs, as well as putting other measures in place such as table service, seating only, one way systems and dividing screens. The measures mean that pubs have less capacity to serve customers. Likewise, consumer confidence to go out and visit pubs is still returning. According to the BBPA, this is impacting the viability of reopened pubs, particularly in city centre locations, where many offices remain closed meaning even greater reduced footfall. The BBPA has welcomed initiatives such as the Eat Out To Help Out scheme and the VAT cut to food and accommodation in hospitality and pubs to help boost the sector, which it hopes will have a positive impact on pub sales in August. However, it says further support is still needed for the pub and brewing sector in the medium and longer term to enable them to fully recover. It also says the Government needs to play its part in helping build public confidence to go out and visit pubs and hospitality again, with consistent and positive messaging about their reopening. In particular, the trade association says more support is needed for community pubs who tend to only sell drinks or small food items, and so are less likely to benefit from VAT cuts to food and the Eat Out to Help Out scheme. It says the Government should cut beer duty by 25%, cut VAT on beer served in pubs and fundamentally reform business rates to enable the beer and pub sector to fully recover and help grow the economy once more. According to the trade association, such measures would be needed to get pubs through this quieter period and into the new year.   Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association, said:  “One month after they were able to reopen in England, over a third of pubs are struggling to break even or turn a profit. This is inevitably due to lower consumer confidence and reduced capacity for pubs. “We fully support the Eat Out To Help Out scheme and the temporary VAT cut to food and accommodation in pubs and hope they will help boost pub sales. “However, to ensure the full recovery of our sector, including Britain’s world class brewers and pubs at the heart of communities across the UK, we need the Government to increase its support. “£1 in every £3 spent in a pub goes to the taxman and now is the time to reinvest that money in our brewers and pubs. That means cutting beer duty by 25%, as well as making the VAT cut permanent and extending it to beer in pubs to bring the cost of a pint down and unlock investment. “Fundamental reform is also needed of the business rates system – pubs pay 2.8% of the business rates bill, despite accounting for just 0.5% of turnover. "Crucially, the Government must play a leading role in building public confidence to go out and visit pubs again, by delivering consistent and positive messages about their reopening. “Our sector is a resilient one, and 75% of brewing and pub businesses say they are sustainable at present, but that still leaves 25% that are struggling and it would be catastrophic for our culture and economy if they are denied the support they need. “Now is the time to recognise and invest in our pubs and brewers to secure them for future generations and to enable growth.”

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