APPBG calls for evidence in business rates inquiry

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Information wanted: those wishing to submit evidence need to do so by Wednesday 17 February (image: Getty/akinbostanci)
Information wanted: those wishing to submit evidence need to do so by Wednesday 17 February (image: Getty/akinbostanci)

Related tags: Business rates, Legislation, Property

The All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group (APPBG) is conducting an inquiry into business rates and is calling for evidence and reform ideas from licensees, organisations and other interested parties.

The inquiry is looking to understand the impact of business rates on pub operations in England alongside the effectiveness of the valuation process and appeals system.

It is also looking at the fairness of business rates on a sectoral basis as well as the impact of the Government’s current proposals for reform.

Furthermore, the inquiry will explore hospitality being a catalyst for inward investment, high street regeneration and employment as well as skills growth.

Inquiry details

This will be alongside exploring options for business rates reform to reflect this and the sector’s wider contribution on a national and local level, including rebalancing the burden of businesses rates between digital and physical economies.

Those looking to submit evidence or ideas for consideration must do so by Wednesday 17 February by email to APPBG secretary Paul Hegarty at cnhy@orretebhc.pb.hx​ and must clearly identify any information given in confidence.

APPBG chair Mike Wood highlighted while business rates relief amid the pandemic was welcomed, it didn’t address issues with the system.

He said: “The APPBG has reported previously on the pressures pubs face from business rates – most recently, shortly before the first lockdown in 2020.

“Covid relief provided a welcome respite for many but did not tackle the underlying imbalances in the system."

Evidence welcomed

Wood added: “We want to find an equitable way to address this now, to give pubs a sporting chance of fighting back from Covid and contributing all they have to offer.

“As we’ve concluded before, pubs have extraordinary potential to catalyse investment, regeneration and innovation.

“Let’s work out how rates can support, not hinder, this future. We would welcome any ideas and evidence.”

The cross-party inquiry coincides with the Government’s consultation on business rates. All written evidence will be published on the APPBG inquiry website (www.beergroupinquiry.com​) and virtual hearings will be held with invited witnesses on Wednesday 23 February. Following this, a report will be published in March.

Related topics: Property law

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