Reaction to the autumn Budget 2017: "rate relief not nearly enough"

22 November 2017 by
Reaction to the autumn Budget 2017: "rate relief not nearly enough"

During today's autumn budget announcement, Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed changes to business rates however it's come under fire from industry bodies such as the British Hospitality Association which thinks it's "not nearly enough."

In a "move worth £2.3b over the next five years" Hammond said he would bring forward the planned change from Retail Price Index (RPI) to Consumer Price Index (CPI) by two years to April 2018.

It was also announced that future business rate revaluations will take place every three years, rather than every five.

Hammond also announced a plan to support small pubs by extending the £1,000 discount for business rate bills for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 for another year to March 2019.

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association (BHA) said the decision to review rates every three years is welcome but "is of no comfort to those hospitality businesses facing huge rises right now".

Ibrahim added: "The chancellor's announcement of an extension to the £1000 rate relief for small pubs is not nearly enough amounting, as it does, to £20 a week. His decision to bring forward the use of CPI rather than RPI to set business rates is a good one."

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) chief executive Kate Nicholls said the relief will save the sector "almost £20m" and bringing forward the move from RPI to CPI will save close to £100m over the next four years.

Nicholls added: "This shows that the government has listened to the concerns of the sector, the concerns of ALMR members, and acted to support vital hospitality businesses at a time of economic and political instability. The ALMR has worked hard to communicate the pressures being faced by eating and drinking out businesses and it is good to see the chancellor acknowledging these challenges and listening to what businesses have to say."

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) chief executive Mike Clist said that the industry "welcomes the fact that Government has listened to the call to help pubs in what is a very competitive marketplace." However the BII still believes that "the rating system needs a complete overhaul and we will continue to lobby for this."

Autumn budget 2017: Small pubs the big winners >>

Hospitality sector cheers alcohol duty freeze >>

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