by Steve Beasant on 1 December, 2015
Members of the All Party Parliamentary Group Save the Pub have called for the reform of the business rates paid by pubs.
The pub sector currently pays the second highest business rates bill in the UK, with the total tax bill comes to £7.3 billion, or £140,000 per pub. The pub sector currently accounts for 0.5% of the UK’s national turnover, but pays 2.8% of the UK’s total business rates, almost six times more than is justifiable.
The parliamentary motion, EDM 759, tabled by Save the Pub Chair Greg Mulholland MP says the high business rates were an “unfair and onerous burden” andcalled on the government to “look at further ways directly to support British pubs through the tax system considering their importance to local communities as well as the local and national economy.”
The motion called for the extension of Small Business Rates Relief, something which was later confirmed by the Chancellor in the Autumn Spending Review on Wednesday 25th November. The motion also called for business rate multiplier to be frozen, and for the application of Retail Relief, a government scheme providing discount for pubs with a rateable value of £50,000 or less. It went onto recommend the Government “to look again at the way pubs’ business rates are calculated”.
The motion also highlighted the importance of community pubs, saying they “form a core part of many communities and create local jobs and business” and said the disproportionate business rates were a threat to these pubs.
Commenting, Greg Mulholland MP, Chair of the Save the Pub Group said:
“It is simply unfair that pubs, which are important for the local and national economy, as well hugely important in their local communities, currently pay such high business rates, six times more than is justifiable on the actual turnover figures.
“There needs to be real reform of the business rates system for pubs including looking at retail relief but also looking at pub-specific business rate relief to recognise the value of pubs to their communities. It is easy for Ministers to say nice things about the importance of pubs but it is time this was acknowledged in the tax system, starting with fairer business rates”.
Commenting, Charlotte Leslie MP, Vice Chair of the Save the Pub Group said:
“I warmly welcome the government’s support for pubs through extending Small Business Rates Relief. But the campaign doesn’t end here, and we will be pushing for even more changes to deal with pub rates.”
Commenting, Caroline Lucas MP, Vice Chair of the Save the Pub Group said:
“Community pubs make a vitally important contribution to local communities, but many are struggling. I fully support efforts to protect these institutions, including cutting business rates.”Leave a comment