Miliband pledges to cut business rates but Cable stays silent on reduction for pubs

By James Wallin

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Business rates Gordon brown

Ed Miliband wants to reduce business rates
Ed Miliband wants to reduce business rates
The Labour Party is set to commit to a 1% cut in business rates if it wins next year’s general election.

It is thought Ed Miliband will use his party conference in Manchester this week to unveil a cut worth more than £1bn, which would reverse the inflation-linked increase scheduled for April 2015 and scrap the planned increase in 2016.

The Government asked business for their views on rates in a consultation earlier this year, ahead of a planned revaluation in 2017.

The issue of rates for pubs was raised in the Commons last week. Sir Bob Russell, Lib Dem MP for Colchester, asked Business Secretary Vince Cable if he would look specifically at the impact on community pubs.

He said: “Will the minister look across the Government—if we can have joined-up Government—at possibly reducing the rateable value on traditional community local public houses, which face a lot of competition from binge-drinking premises and supermarkets?”


Cable responded: “The issue of rateable valuation will arise in the revaluation, when it occurs, but my honourable friend will be aware that pubs have benefited significantly in the autumn statement from the package on business rates, which is worth £1bn. A third of all pubs have now benefited from the £1,000 discount given to low-value property.”

This weekend also saw the British Property Federation outline its proposal to overhaul business rates, which it says would exempt one million small businesses from the system.  The federation wants to replace the current system of five-yearly reviews for all firms with an annual review for bigger companies.    

Chief executive Liz Peace said: “It is crucial that business rates are allowed to rise and fall in line with economic conditions. More frequent revaluations would make the system fairer and more responsive.

“Removing small businesses from rates entirely would free up time and resources to allow annual revaluations, and would support small and medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs.”

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