MP helps force Government’s hand on pub business rates

Graham Allen MP
Graham Allen MP

After Nottingham North’s MP wrote to the Government to voice concerns over business rate rises for pubs, this week’s Budget offered some important concessions.

In a letter to Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Graham Allen MP said that raising tax bills based on a new valuation of the potential rental income of premises would hit the industry hard.

As many hospitality businesses occupy relatively large spaces, regardless of their turnover, they are particularly exposed to the changes.

Mr Allen said: “The pub is often the community centre in the outer estates of Nottingham North and adding yet more to their costs would drive many out of business, losing yet another amenity from often hard pressed and isolated communities.”

“The sector already pays over five times more than if rates were linked to turnover - an overpayment of around £500 million.

He added: “The revaluation would further this effect, with pubs and restaurants receiving a 15 per cent and 23 per cent increase in rateable value respectively.”

He went on to cite analysis showing that under planned arragements, 2,700 pubs will receive an increase in their bills of more than £5,000 per annum starting from April.

Mr Allen said: “This is incredibly difficult—in many cases impossible—to absorb. The risk of not acting is business closures, lost jobs, amenities and communities, and the further demise of the Great British High Street.”

In the Budget announcement on Wednesday. March 8, Chancellor Philip Hammond conceded to industry pressure and MPs’ lobbying by extending a discount to 90 per cent of pubs in England.

He also announced £300million would be made available to local councils to help those hit hardest.