Business rates set to increase for the licensed hospitality sector.

By | October 17, 2013

Business rates set to increase for the licensed hospitality sector.

ALMR Press Release – Immediate

Licensed hospitality may be hit with an increase in business rates which leading trade body the ALMR estimates could cost the sector up to £58 million, following the Office for National Statistics’ announcement earlier this week of RPI of 3.2% for September 2013.

 

The annual business rate increase for April is currently set by reference to the previous September’s rate of RPI. The snapshot is applied irrespective of annualised RPI levels and historically, September’s figures have been higher than the annual average. Last year, the September RPI was 2.6% and in 2011 it was 5.6%.

 

In response, the ALMR has called for the Government to take immediate action to address the rise which is higher than its target rise of 2% for inflation and represents a significant increase on last year’s figure of 2.6%.

 

Commenting on the announcement, ALMR Strategic Affairs Director, Kate Nicholls said:

 

“This level of RPI could lead to another substantial business rates hike in April which our sector can ill afford. Continuing unpredictable increases in rate bills have put pressure on businesses and this is stifling investment in our property and our people. We already have one of the highest commercial property taxes of any EU country and we urge the Chancellor to use the Autumn Statement to limit next year’s business rate increase to his inflation target of 2%.

 

“In the longer term, we need a fundamental root and branch review of the system to explore options for reform – more frequent revaluations, a cap or annualised CPI increases to ensure it remains responsive to economic circumstances. Take the brakes off and free us up to continue to deliver the jobs and growth the country so desperately needs.”

 

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