The pub sector overpays by £500 million in business rates each year
Businesses in England are required to pay a tax to their local council based on the value of the property that they occupy – these are called business rates. In 2016 40% of pubs were handed an increase in their business rates bill – the result of which is that many have had to put up their prices for consumers to cover their rates increases, or in some cases close for good.
Pubs currently pay 2.8% of the business rates bill but only account for 0.5% of total business turnover, which is an overpayment of around £500 million by the sector each year. We need a full review of how the business rates system works – this needs to look at how to address the current system where pubs are unfairly burdened.