A coalition of consumers, pub owners, operators and brewers has written to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid to demand immediate and thorough reform of business rates.
The joint letter, co-authored by the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) highlights a “crippling business rates regime” that they claim unfairly and disproportionately punishes pubs, and calls for immediate reform.
In a joint comment, the signatory organisations stated: “We worked very hard in the early part of this year to ensure that rates reform for pubs was on the agenda. The Chancellor took notice of this and pledged to support pubs, but the sector needs wholesale reform of this broken system as a matter of urgency. In the meantime, extending and increasing the £1,000 pub-specific relief would help pubs to continue trading, especially those suffering most acutely, sometimes with the prospect of closure hanging over them.
“All the major political parties included rates reform in their manifestos, so there is cross-party consensus that this issue needs to be addressed. Pubs are being inordinately squeezed by business rates on a level that is not matched in other sectors. The businesses that contribute so much economically and socially, and which have helped to regenerate high streets, are in danger of being forced out of business by a system that does not work.”
The statement ends by saying that the sector is putting the message across with a “unified voice” to highlight the extent of the problem and the danger that businesses are facing if the government does not respond.