Pub and restaurant groups among 100 companies calling for business rate reform

By Carina Perkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Over 100 companies have called for a complete overhaul of the UK's outdated business rates system
Over 100 companies have called for a complete overhaul of the UK's outdated business rates system

Related tags: Business rates, Real estate

Pub companies, restaurant groups and industry bodies have joined forces with retailers, manufacturers and wholesalers to publish an open letter calling for ‘fundamental reform’ of business rates.

Over 100 companies signed the letter, which was published in the Daily Telegraph today and claimed business rates are a ‘critical problem’ for the UK.

Business rates - which are higher than any other European property tax - earn the Treasury around £25bn in revenue each year. Opponents argue the system has lost touch with economic reality and is putting a huge burden on businesses across the country.

The letter said business rates are 'no longer fit for purpose for the 21st century’, and argued that relieving the burden would help revitalise high streets and town centres.

It called for all political parties to address the issue in their manifestos for the next General Election.

“A modern, sustainable and transparent system would unleash investment that could bring skilled and entry level jobs and new and expanded businesses into our local communities. Those who seek a competitive tax regime as a draw for investment and jobs should apply that logic to business rates,” said the letter.

“It is no longer an option to say that reform is too difficult or complicated and we call on all political parties to commit to fundamental reform in their manifestos for the next General Election.”

Business rates campaign

Hospitality signatories to the letter included the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR), KFC, Tragus, TGI Fridays and Costa.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “Over the past year, the ALMR has been vocal in calling for the Government to carry out a reform of business rates – and that has borne fruit in terms of the current regime and the 2015 valuation process – but we need to see even more action to ensure that the tax is consistent, proportionate and fair. The costs of property in our sector have spiralled out of control over recent years and we are more highly taxed than any other property market in Europe.”

“As we begin to look forward to next year’s General Election, all parties need to be aware that this is a pressing matter for licensed hospitality businesses. If we want a sustainable high street, then the status quo is not an option. We will continue to press for business rates reform in order to promote a fair and flexible market  which allows our members to grow and prosper.”

The letter in full

As the Daily Telegraph has consistently pointed out, the current system of business rates is no longer fit for purpose for the 21st Century. Business rates are higher than property taxes anywhere else in Europe and are the second highest in the OECD. This is a critical problem for all of British business.

A recent survey demonstrated that 93 per cent of MPs agree that the fundamental reform of business rates would revitalise our high streets and town centres. Manufacturers, retailers, the hospitality trade, property, service industries and businesses large and small are all held back by business rates.

A modern, sustainable and transparent system would unleash investment that could bring skilled and entry level jobs and new and expanded businesses into our local communities.

Those who seek a competitive tax regime as a draw for investment and jobs should apply that logic to business rates.

It is no longer an option to say that reform is too difficult or complicated and we call on all political parties to commit to fundamental reform in their manifestos for the next General Election.

Join in the debate on Twitter using the hastag #reformrates or share your views with @BigHospitality

Related news

Show more

Spotlight

Follow us

Hospitality Guides

View more

Featured Suppliers

All suppliers