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.

  • Tax savings from lower rates should go to business instantly

    25 July 2022

    Responding to a Government consultation the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has called for reductions in business rates to be reflected in bills instantly alongside a cap on bill increases as part of wider reform urgently required Brewing and pub businesses whose rateable value decreases following reviews should instantly reap the benefits of lower bills, the BBPA has proposed in its response to a consultation from the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities. In response to the Business Rates Reevaluation 2023 which closes today, the leading trade body for the pub and brewing sector called for downward caps to be removed to ensure that any decrease in the cost of business rates be paid back to ratepayers immediately, rather than after incremental decreases over time.  Transitional relief is one element of the much larger reform of the rates regime that the Association is calling for to rebalance a system where pubs currently overpay by more the £500 million relative to their turnover. The call comes as many pubs and breweries struggle with skyrocketing bills due to inflation, causing decreased profitability and many having to operate reduced opening hours as a result. In its full response, the BBPA argued a review of business rates to ensure they are ‘fair and in line’ with other industries would help alleviate these pressures and encourage more investment into and throughout the sector. Alongside fundamental reform to business rates, the BBPA’s submission called for: The removal of a downward cap A cap on increases to bills Commenting on the review, Emma McClarkin Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said: “Our industry is trying to bounceback fully from the pandemic but we need incentives to invest and revitalise our brewing and pub businesses. Major reform of business rates is vital to enable this, supported by the ability for those pubs whose valuation has fallen to benefit immediately. “As it stands, pubs are penalised by an outdated system which puts them at a disadvantage to other similar sized businesses. As part of wider reform, we need a transitional relief mechanism that ensures that pubs and breweries benefit from reductions in bills instantly, rather than waiting for money to be paid back to them so they are able to invest and grow their businesses.”

    Read more
  • BBPA calls on candidates to support their local pubs in upcoming elections

    28 April 2022

    With one week to go until local elections, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) is calling on candidates to protect their community’s pubs by backing calls for fairer business rates, following the permanent closure of over 800 pubs in the past two years. With rates collected by local authorities, one of the single biggest ways councillors could help save their favourite local from closure would be to call for fairer business rates to help lessen the financial burden pubs face – as pubs typically pay five times more on average in business rates than other sectors. 800+ pubs were forced to close their doors for good during the pandemic because of prolonged periods of closure and rising overheads. However, where pubs were able to remain open a recent study suggests that 37% of people said their local pub became even more important to their community during the pandemic. In addition, pubs contribute £26.2billion to local economies across the UK each year as well as providing a vital shop window for Britain’s world-renowned brewing industry. The call follows the launch of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association’s local elections manifesto, which made Scotland-specific recommendations on a road to recovery after the pandemic, including the appointment of Night Czars in Edinburgh and Glasgow, like the roles of Sacha Lord in Manchester and Amy Lamé in London. Now, the BBPA is calling on candidates in the local elections, taking place a week today, to recognise the contribution pubs make to their local community across the whole of the UK and support them by championing the need for fairer business rates. In addition, the BBPA are also calling for candidates to support a cut to beer duty and reduced VAT rates for hospitality to help ease the financial burden faced by pubs and Britain’s brewers. Chief Executive of the British Beer & Pub Association Emma McClarkin said: “Pubs are the beating heart of communities up and down the country but many of them are at serious risk of closing permanently due to increased costs, rising overheads and customers who have fewer pence in their back pocket. “The upcoming local elections are a time to reflect on what’s important to us in our neighbourhoods. That’s why we are urging candidates to get behind their local pubs by supporting our call for fairer business rates, so they can continue to be a place where communities come together and thrive.”

    Read more