BBPA calls for reform of 'outdated' business rates system

By Rebecca Weller contact

- Last updated on GMT

Major reform: BBPA calls on Gov for reform of "outdated" business rates system (Pictured: BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin)
Major reform: BBPA calls on Gov for reform of "outdated" business rates system (Pictured: BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin)

Related tags: Bbpa, Business rates, Finance, Legislation, Government

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has called on the Government for a cap on bill increases and a review of the sector’s businesses rates.

In the response to the Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities’ Business Rates Reevaluation 2023, which closes today (Monday 25 July), the BBPA stated an urgent reform was required with many pubs and breweries struggling amid skyrocketing bills due to inflation.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “Our industry is trying to bounce back fully from the pandemic but we need incentives to invest and revitalise our brewing and pub businesses.

Outdated system 

“Major reform of business rates is vital to enable this, supported by the ability for those pubs whose valuation has fallen to benefit immediately.

“As it stands, pubs are penalised by an outdated system which puts them at a disadvantage to other similar sized businesses.”

The trade body called for downward caps to be removed to ensure any decrease in the cost of business rates be paid back to ratepayers immediately, rather than after incremental decreases over time, as well as a cap on increases to bills.

Wider reform 

In its full response, the BBPA argued a review of business rates to ensure they are ‘fair and in line’ with other industries would help alleviate current pressures on the sector and encourage more investment into and throughout the industry.

Furthermore, the trade body stated pubs currently overpay by more than £500m in tax relative to their turnover, with the industry contributing £26.2bn to the UK economy each year.

McClarkin added: “As part of wider reform, we need a transitional relief mechanism that ensures that pubs and breweries benefit from reductions in bills instantly, rather than waiting for money to be paid back to them, so they are able to invest and grow their businesses.”

Related topics: Rebuilding the Pub Sector

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