Pubs to receive help with business rates

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Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his Spring Budget today that many pubs will be entitled to business rates relief of £1,000.

Every pub with a rateable value of less than £100,000 will receive a discount of £1,000 in 2017, a move that affects 90% of all pubs.

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) welcomed the news and said it will save the sector over £24 million and could help safeguard investment and jobs in the pub and bar industry.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: ““It is very encouraging to see the Government acknowledge and back the valuable work being carried out by the UK’s hardworking pubs, bars and restaurants. Sector-specific relief will help those businesses hardest hit by the revaluation.

“This much-needed Government support will save the sector over £24m and will help safeguard investment and jobs. We are pleased to see the Government acknowledge the issue and act positively to support a crucial growth champion and a sector with turnover of £60bn employing over 1.5 million.

“The ALMR has been spearheading the campaign for business rates reform for a few years and we have been incredibly vocal on this issue over the past few months. The ALMR has been actively campaigning non-stop since September and helped coordinate a campaign as the voice of the sector at key meetings with Ministers and MPs.

“The ALMR’s Budget campaign focused on securing immediate support for those businesses hardest hit and facing the biggest increases and this is a good first step on the road to permanent reform. The next step is for the Government to instigate the long term, root and branch reform that is needed for pubs and bars and the ALMR is keen to work closely with them to achieve this.”

Meanwhile, CAMRA says drinkers have been let down by the Chancellor’s decision to increase beer and cider duty in today’s Budget, which will see the price of their pints rise.

The announced two penny a pint increase in beer duty is the first rise in five years and CAMRA says it marks a U-turn by the Chancellor as he risks returning to the days of the much-hated Beer Duty Escalator which contributed to 75,000 job losses, 3,700 pub closures and a 24% fall in beer sales in pubs.

Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s national chairman said: “UK beer drinkers, pubs and brewers have been let down by the Chancellor’s decision to increase beer duty for the first time in five years.

“The government’s U-turn on beer duty is a real missed opportunity to support consumers. The UK still pays one of the highest rates of duty across Europe, only consuming around 12% of the beer yet paying nearly 40% of all beer duty in the EU. Further beer duty increases will lead to unsustainable price increases in pubs. The decision completely ignores the pressures that are being faced by the beer and pub sectors”.

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