Autumn Budget a ‘cliff edge’ for medium-sized pubs, says Altus Group

By Stuart Stone

- Last updated on GMT

Rates increase: the Altus Group estimates that more than 5,000 pubs could be worse off
Rates increase: the Altus Group estimates that more than 5,000 pubs could be worse off
Business rates measures announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his 2018 Autumn Budget represent a “cliff edge” for medium-sized pubs according to the Altus Group’s vice-president.

Average medium-sized pub rates bill

2016-17​ - £30,160

2017-18​ - £30,579

2018-19​ - £32,281

2019-20​ - £34,820

As reported by The Morning Advertiser​, Philip Hammond announced a one third cut in business rates​ for pubs, shops, restaurants and cafés with a rateable value of up to £51,000 in his Autumn Budget on 29 October in what he described as a “Budget for the high street”. 

However, analysis of official Government data by real estate adviser Altus Group reveals that 5,520 medium-sized pubs, those with a rateable of more than £51,000 but less than £100,000, will see their collective business rates bills rise to £192.21m. 

This represents a three-year cumulative increase of 15.45% with bills up £25.72m compared to the amounts paid in the final year before the revaluation came into effect.

Moreover, pubs will also face the loss of the £1,000 business rates discount for pubs with a rateable value under £100,000 – a measure that has been in place since the 2017 business rates revaluation – which was replaced by broader retail relief in the Chancellor’s statement.

Additionally, 5,520 medium-sized pubs will see their bills rise through an increase of 2.4% in the standard tax rate, in accordance with September’s headline rate of inflation, as well as further rates increases under last year’s revaluation. 

The “triple whammy” of rate increases leaves one in seven pubs facing a rate rise of £5,000 in April 2019 when new measures announced by the Chancellor come into force.

‘Cliff edge’

Altus Group vice-president David Shuttleworth said: “Despite this meaningful statement of support for some smaller premises, the qualifying thresholds for the Chancellor’s headline giveaway effectively creates a cliff edge for medium-sized pubs and has swept from underneath them existing reliefs to cushion the effects of the revaluation.

“It is crucial that medium-sized businesses carefully check their assessment, which determines liabilities, because a successful appeal could mean a third off the rates bill for the next two years via the new relief and the additional benefit of being calculated at a lower tax rate too.”

Who will pay what?

According to the Altus Group, the 2018 Autumn Budget will mean the following.

Rateable value

Pub numbers in England

Budget 2018 impact

More than £100,000


No change

£51,000 to £99,999


Rates bill increase

£12,001 to £50,999


Third off rates bill

Less than £12,000


Complete exemption

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