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Thousands of pubs to see business rates slashed

By Henry Saker-Clark, PA City Reporter

Thousands of pubs will see £1,000 slashed off their bills, after the Chancellor announced new cuts aimed at supporting boozers in local communities.

The Government said that as many as 18,000 pubs across the UK could see their business rates fall as a result of the move.

The tax relief comes after calls from pub companies and lobby groups to ease the significant burden of business rates on sites facing other heavy cost increases.

Chancellor Sajid Javid said: “Thousands of pubs will get £1,000 off their rates bills this April, thanks to the changes we’re announcing today.”

Pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 will be eligible for the rate reduction, which will begin in April.

Pubs which have a rateable value below £51,000 will receive the cut on top of a one-third reduction they already receive to their rates bill.

In the 2020-21 financial year, pubs, restaurants, shops, music venues and cinemas with a rateable value below this figure will see their discount increase to 50% for the year.

The Treasury said that pubs eligible for both the new £1,000 pubs relief and 50% retail discount could see up £13,500 knocked off their rate bills.

Community pubs minister Luke Hall said: “Pubs are front and centre of communities around the country, the key to thousands of jobs and providing a meeting point for local residents to get together and enjoy a pint.

“Today’s business rates cut continues our firm commitment to support pub owners, helping to keep the pints pouring and the locals happy.”

Kate Nicholls, chief executive officer of industry group UKHospitality, said: “This is fantastic news for pubs and other high-street businesses who are taking too much of the pain from business taxes.

“The economy has evolved and the tax system needs to catch up.

“Taxing property higher than the rest of the developed world is a recipe for the decimation of our high-streets and communities, which we have already started to see.”

The newly announced pubs relief could ease the total tax burden on pubs by up to £1.8 million, the Treasury figures suggest.

However, pubs in England and Wales have paid £749.88 million in business rates for the current financial year, according to figures from real estate adviser Altus Group.

Robert Hayton, head of business rates at Altus, said the move will particularly benefit smaller pubs businesses rather than larger pub owners.

He said: “Most large pub chains will have reached the de minimis regulation limit – of 200,000 euro (£168,700) per business over a three year period due to EU rules – this current financial year and will, effectively, be precluded.”