With today’s RPI inflation figures pointing to a £15 million rise in the business rates bill for community pubs, the British Beer & Pub Association has called for a freeze in the business rates multiplier in the Autumn Statement, to safeguard the future of many much loved locals.
The businesses rates multiplier is used to calculate rates increases, each year, and is based on today’s inflation figure of 2.3%, which means a typical pub is facing a rise in bills from April 2015, of £350, to £15,000.
The BBPA is calling for wholesale reform of the business rates system, which it says places far too high burden on businesses, particularly small, family-owned businesses such as a typical pub. Rates can account for up to ten per cent of a pub’s operating costs.
The BBPA’s Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds comments:
“Business rates are placing unsustainable pressures on pubs, which is affecting jobs and investment, as well as damaging our high streets and villages.
“We have seen a lot of positive action from the Government in the past year, such as the existing cap on the rates multiplier, the application of retail relief, and the extension of Small Business Rate Relief. But the burden remains high and more needs to be done.”
The BBPA is calling for the following measures in the Autumn Statement:
· Freeze the business rates multiplier
· Extend Small Business Rate Relief to the end of the valuation period (2016-17), and consider raising the threshold at which businesses qualify, to £18,000
· Work with local authorities to improve the billing and application of reliefs for business with a move to standardised billing
· Deliver reforms to the administration and appeals process at the earliest opportunity.