UKHospitality requests urgent meeting with Treasury over business rates

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UKHospitality requests urgent meeting with Treasury over business rates

Related tags: Business rates, ukhospitality

UKHospitality is to request an urgent meeting with the Treasury, amid reports a major overhaul of business rates has been shelved so ministers and officials can undertake further work..

Yesterday (14 October), The Telegraph​ reported that 'wholesale reform' of the controversial levy have been 'thrown into the long grass'​, with Chancellor Rishi Sunak now only expected to unveil smaller scale tweaks.

It is thought there will not be any change announced to the valuations of properties during the Budget, with moves to slash business rates on green investments also unlike.

In a statement to members released last night, UKHospitality said: "We were dismayed by reports that Rishi Sunak will push the business rates review further down the road.

"This would be a huge blow for hospitality as we know many of you are paying unreasonably high rates while trying to recover and rebuild."

A meaningful reform to the business rates system was a core ask of UKHospitality's Budget submission​ to the Treasury earlier this month, with the trade body calling for a differential, lower rate for hospitality, coming into force in April 2022.

UKHospitality is also one of more than 40 trade associations spanning the UK economy to have issued a joint call yesterday (14 October) for the Chancellor to cut business rates in the Budget.

"We have been pushing hard on this, and together with a powerful coalition of the country’s hospitality and tourism trade and membership bodies, we yesterday issued a joint statement and press release outlining how the existing, outdated and outmoded business rate regime acts as a drag on the Government’s goal of a high wage, high productivity and high investment economy," it said to members.

"In light of [these] reports, we will be requesting an urgent meeting with the Treasury to gain clarity on this and push for the Government to reconsider, should the reports prove correct."

According to The Telegraph​, the growing momentum of the campaign for business rate reform has sparked alarm in Whitehall that companies may be expecting a wholesale overhaul to be unveiled later this month.

Small-scale changes are being looked at, it is understood, but a Government source told The Telegraph​: “I think the expectations are quite high and the reality is we just haven’t had enough time to look at it.

"It’s obviously something that needs looking at. Rishi is keen to do a proper reform of the whole system.”

Related topics: Business & Legislation

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