The campaign is supported by:
Better Rates for Pubs
Better Rates for Pubs aims to ease the burden of business rates for pubs. Rates have hit pubs particularly hard in recent years and now form a significant part of a pub's fixed costs. The campaign is jointly supported by leading organisations in the beer and pub sector; the BBPA, CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale), FLVA (Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations), ALMR (Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers), BFBI (Brewing Food & Beverages Suppliers Association),SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers), BIL (Business in Licensing), BHA (British Hop Association), BII (British Institute of Innkeeping), CIU (Working Men’s Club & Institute Union), MAGB (Maltster’s Association of Great Britain), Guild of Master Victuallers and the Publican's Morning Advertiser.
To reduce the burden further, we are calling on the Government to implement the following measures in the 2014 Autumn Statement:
- Extend Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) to the end of the valuation period (2016/17)
- Raise the threshold for SBRR from £12,000 to £18,000 – bringing 7,500 more pubs into scope
- Freeze the business rates multiplier
- Work with local authorities to improve the billing and application of reliefs for business with a move to standardised billing – including the listing of all reliefs
- Deliver root-and-branch reforms to the administration and appeals process at the earliest opportunity
- Consider more help for pubs and clubs not eligible for SBRR, potentially through discretionary rate relief for Assets of Community Value
The campaign has written to Chancellor George Osborne, urging him to implement our key objectives. Read the letter here.
Pubs and SBRR (Small Business Rate Relief)
Small Business Rate Relief (SBRR) was introduced in 2005 and was most recently extended to 2013/14 in the Autumn Statement of 2012. This allows rate relief of up to 100 per cent for small businesses, worth approximately £1,000 per annum. Around 16,000 pubs currently benefit from a discount – worth £27m to the sector.
SBRR sees a variable discount on rates for business with a rateable value of up to £12,000. This discount is due to expire at the end of March 2014, unless the Government decides to extend it further. Current estimates suggest that this will affect 16,000 pubs across England and Wales.
Flexibility for pub ratings
Pubs have their rates determined based on turnover (unlike other commercial premises which use square meterage). The campaign believes there needs to be a concession to allow for rates to be reduced when a pub’s turnover falls materially – this provision used to exist in previous ratings legislation. This change should also allow for a speedier reassessment of rateable values, especially given the long periods between general revaluations.
Rural Rate Relief – the need for greater take-up
Rural rate relief allows for mandatory 50 per cent rate relief for the sole public house in a settlement with a population of less than 3,000. There is also provision for local authorities to top this relief up to 100 per cent, and to offer 100 per cent relief to businesses with rateable value of below £16,500.
It is unclear how widespread the use of rural rate relief is, as there is no centrally held data. However it is understood that many more premises could apply for this discount. Greater awareness among those who run pubs in rural areas, and among local authorities, is needed to increase take-up of rural rate relief.
How you can help
Why not write to your MP or get in touch with your local media, telling them your story on the effect of business rates on your pub. The BBPA can support you with local data - please get in touch here.