Amazon deal highlights 'unfair' business rates system says ALMR

By Liam Coleman

- Last updated on GMT

Reform: the ALMR's Kate Nicholls is calling for rate relief for the licensed trade
Reform: the ALMR's Kate Nicholls is calling for rate relief for the licensed trade

Related tags Business rates Retailing Government

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has reiterated its calls for transitional business rate relief for pubs after online retailer Amazon was given a business rates cut.

The Government has announced that Amazon will be given a cut in business rates when the new rates take effect in April and the ALMR's chief executive, Kate Nicholls, has used this news to urge the Government to act and give pubs fairer business rates from April.

Business rates for pubs are calculated differently to other retail businesses because calculations take account of turnover, as well as the rentable value of the property – and ALMR research shows that this results in the licensed trade bearing 2.8% of the UK business rates burden despite only generating 0.5% of UK turnover. Nicholls said that this system is "unfair" and "complex".

"Investment and jobs are at risk if the Government does not act quickly to tackle this problem. The current system is unfair and so complex for high street retailers that it risks scaring away investment from overseas.

"The Government has reportedly seen fit to lower Amazon’s business rates bill but numerous small businesses across the country are to get no such help. Pubs and restaurants pay more than a third of turnover in taxes whereas Amazon paid just £11.9m in tax in 2015 despite £5.3bn in sales.

"The Government must act to reform business rates and provide transitional relief for valuable, hard-working pubs and bars that contribute so much and will be hugely missed should they be priced out of business," she said.

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