The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers, which represents thousands of restaurants in the UK, has stepped up its push on business rates as the Budget nears, having met with senior MPs across the political parties as it amplifies its campaign for business rates relief and reform for licensed hospitality.
Following a series of meetings in Parliament on Monday, including the ALMR representing hospitality at a round table with Labour’s Front Bench Budget team, chief executive Kate Nicholls addressed a TaxPayers’ Alliance event in the evening.
On a panel of respected stakeholders, Nicholls led sector-wide calls on behalf of businesses facing crippling rate increases, reiterating the ALMR’s three chief requests: the introduction of sector-specific relief for pubs and bars, a capping of bills increases at 12.5%, and retention of a robust and fair system for appeals.
Nicholls said: “Widespread and constructive change of the business rates regime can only be achieved if the Government hears our message loud and clear. Our meetings yesterday, and over the weeks and months, have been very fruitful in allowing us to present a strong, unified voice to policy-makers, ensure that our message resonates and hammer home the sector’s demands for action.”
She added that following its meetings with senior MPs from both parties, the campaign has steadily gained momentum and coverage.
“We have a little over a week until the Budget Statement and we are confident that the message we have been pushing is getting through at the highest levels. We need a concerted effort from the sector to make sure that our efforts are capitalised one and that hardworking pubs, bars and restaurants are afforded the support they deserve.”