Industry faces £50m business rates bombshell

Restaurants on high street

Business rates for English pubs, restaurants and hotels could rise by £50m next year, it was claimed this morning.

Next month is shaping up to be a pivotal time for the hospitality sector as the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation determines business rate increases with the Uniform Business Rate (UBR – pence in the pound) uprated annually for inflation.

The September CPI figure is the one that is used for the purpose of annual rate rises for the following financial year.

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Business rates bills next year for 2019/20 would increase overall by £758.55m in England according to real estate advisor, Altus Group, if the headline rate of inflation remained unchanged at 2.5%.

Hotels would face a £19.8m increase with pubs shouldering £18.7m of the increase and restaurants £12.7m.

Chancellor Philip Hammond sought to appease concerns over last year’s business rates revaluation, announcing a £2.3 billion reprieve in his Autumn 2017 Budget by bringing forward plans to switch from the discredited Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure, two years earlier, from April this year.

Robert Hayton, head of UK business rates at Altus Group, said: “With our high streets engulfed in crisis and Brexit uncertainty hurting manufacturers and the services industries, the Chancellor should be bold within his Autumn Budget later in the year through an unprecedented stimulus by freezing rate rises.”

Business rates income has risen by £6.04 billion, up by a third during the last 10 years, to a projected £24.8 billion in England this year.

The growing cost of business rates has been blamed for a number of operators closing stores over the past year.

Tags : business rates
Andrew Seymour

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