New rateable values, due to come in next April, are coming at a time of ‘unprecedented circumstances’ for the industry, something which should be reflected in the 2023 revaluation, UKHospitality has said in its response to a Government consultation on the proposals.
In its response the industry body highlighted the profound impact of the pandemic on hospitality property values and the financial fragility of hospitality businesses. Most are carrying heavy debt and facing soaring costs and there is therefore a need to ensure that any reduction in business rates is reflected in the bills as rapidly as possible.
In its full response UKHospitality has called for:
• Assurance that the scheme will allow for all businesses to reach their true reduced value from April 2023
• A cap on how much bills can rise
• No RPI increase in the total sum of business rates
• The continuation of business rate reliefs for businesses hit hardest by the pandemic.
UKHospitality CEO, Kate Nicholls, said:
“The priority must be enabling reductions in bills to be felt immediately and the Government needs to ensure that the cost is reduced for those sectors hit hardest by the pandemic and in most need of support.
“We strongly believe that Government needs to reflect the unprecedented impact of the pandemic, compounded by the impact of an economic downturn and high levels of inflation, in the new rates scheme. If this is taken into account, the hospitality sector can play its full part in the wider UK economic recovery, creating jobs and delivering skills and boosting our high streets and communities.”