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Call for action on Business Rates across the brewing and pub industry

20/11/14


The BBPA has assembled a wide coalition of industry bodies calling on the Chancellor to pursue further reforms to the Business Rates regime for pubs, as reported in the Publican’s Morning Advertiser today.


The rates system places too high a high a burden on UK businesses, particularly small ones such as pubs and clubs. The unsustainable pressure from business rates is damaging pub employment, investment and our high streets, say the 12 industry groups.


Key reforms include extending Small Business Rate Relief, raising the threshold for SBRR, and freezing the business rates multiplier.


Read the full text below.


Notes to editors:

Dear Chancellor


Further support for the pub industry through business rates reform


We are writing as a broadly-based group of organisations representing the interests of the pub, non-profit members’ clubs and associated supply chain bodies, as well as consumers. In our view the business rates system places too high a burden on UK businesses, particularly small ones such as pubs and clubs.


Pub and club Business Rates bills are too high. There is also a lack of understanding about how the system works, how bills are calculated and why it takes so long for appeals to be held. The unsustainable pressure from business rates is damaging pub employment, investment and our high streets.


We welcome the positive steps the Government has already taken, including the cap on the rates multiplier, the application of Retail Relief (75 per cent of pubs benefited from the £1,000 per year reduction for two years), the extension of Small Business Rate Relief and a commitment to reform the current system.


To reduce the burden further, we are calling on the Government to implement the following measures in the 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


We believe these measures would generate additional tax revenues through increased sales, investment and jobs and give a boost to communities and high streets throughout the country – and revive business confidence in the rates system.


We hope you will consider how progress can be made towards implementing these proposals as you prepare for your Autumn Statement.


Yours sincerely


Brigid Simmonds
Chief Executive, British Beer & Pub Association, and on behalf of


Association of Licenced Multiple Retailers (ALMR)
Brewing, Food & Beverage Industry Suppliers Association (BFBI)
British Institute of Innkeeping (BII)
British Hop Association
Business in Licensing
Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA)
Federation of Licensed Victuallers Associations (FLVA)
Maltsters Association of Great Britain (MAGB)
Publican’s Morning Advertiser
Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA)
Working Men's Club Institute & Union (WMCIU)


c/o
BBPA
Brewers’ Hall
Aldermanbury Square
London
EC2V 7HR




Tags:

Business rates


For further information contact:

Neil Williams
Head of Media
nwilliams@beerandpub.com
Tel: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779


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