The trade body has recommended, in order to improve the new system, Government should consider:
- Totally exempting properties not currently paying business rates under SBRR (small business rates relief) exemptions and residential elements
- Extending timelines for filing from 30 days to three months and, for appeals, from three months to six months
- Dramatically reducing the trigger for filing requirements to reflect only the most essential changes that would impact on a pub’s Fair Maintainable Trade to avoid unnecessary administrative burdens
Heart of communities
BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “It is clear the proposed changes to the business rates system to improve fairness will be totally undermined by the increase to the administrative burden and cost to publicans up and down the UK.
“Pubs and brewers are at the heart of communities fostering social cohesion as we reconnect and recover from the pandemic.”
The UK’s brewing and pub industry generates £26bn of economic value and supports 940,000 jobs with 85% of pubs in the UK run as SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), according to the BBPA. However, pubs pay more in business, per pound of turnover, than any other business sector.
The business rates bill for the sector accounts for 2.5% of total business rates paid despite only representing 0.5% of total rateable turnover – an overpayment of £570m.
BBPA’s submission highlighted these statistics and stated the potential benefits of more frequent revaluations would be more than offset by the increase to the administrative burden and cost to publicans up and down the country.
McClarkin added: “With the required support our sector can deliver jobs and additional economic value in every part of the UK, supporting levelling up and the regeneration of high streets and town and city centres up and down the country.”