PUB BUSINESS RATE INCREASE
The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has warned that pub business rates are a ticking time bomb as it hosted a drop-in session for MPs to show support for a £5000 annual reduction.
In the same week that the 2018 edition of Camra’s Good Beer Guide was published, over 50 MPs pledged their support at the House of Commons for Camra’s Keep Pubs Afloat campaign – also backed by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).
The beer guide reports that the UK boasted 75,000 pubs when Camra was formed in the early 1970s, and while there was a number of reasons for closures, the new business rates revaluation introduced this year has been labelled the worst by some operators. The total pub count is now down to fewer than 47,000, the guide says, with 21 typically closing every week.
Some business rate increases, due to be phased in over a five-year period, are described by the guide as eye-watering. For example Camra’s national pub of the year in 2012 in Rochdale will see its rateable value increased by 377 percent, while pub of the year in 2015 in Cheltenham faces a rise of 181 percent.
Owner of the pub in Rochdale stated in five years time when we have no rate belief at all I doubt we will be able to stay open. We will have to pay £3,500 more in rates every month as our rateable value has jumped from £26,000 to £126,000. Despite the pubs fair share of challenges, the owner condemns the rates change as the worst thing to have happened in his 24 years of running the pub.
Camra is hoping to change this, launching its Keep Pubs Afloat campaign ahead of the Budget due later this year, asking the Chancellor to at least freeze duty for the rest of this Parliament and introduce an annual rate relief for pubs of £5.000.
Tim Page, Camra’s Chief Executive said, MP’s know this is an issue their constituents care about, and it is a message the Chancellor cannot afford to ignore. They know how serious the threat to pubs is felt in towns, cities and villages across the UK.
The MP’s who attended the drop-in session signed a pledge asking for the Government to act in the Autumn Budget to help the pub sector.
To help please click on this link to the Camra website and pledge your vote to give them more weight in negotiating with the government on this unfair rate rise –
On another note, Pubs have lost 50 percent of their beer sales to supermarkets since the 1970s as VAT has climbed from 8 percent to 20 percent. Tim Martin Chairman of the UKs largest pub chain, J D Wetherspoon said, it makes no sense for the government to treat supermarkets more leniently than pubs, since pubs generate far more jobs per pint or meal than supermarkets do, as well as far higher levels of tax.
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