Responding to today’s publication of a root and branch review of business rates in the UK, ALMR Chief Executive, Kate Nicholls said:
“We are pleased to see the Government taking this review forward as a matter of priority ahead of the General Election and committing to a strict timetable to implement long overdue change. The current system of rates is no longer fit for purpose. It has gone from being a tax on business to a tax on property occupation and it therefore places disproportionate burdens on high street casual dining, pubs and small businesses in particular.
“The ALMR has repeatedly called for a root and branch reform of a business rates system that currently sees pubs and bars paying 15 pence per pint in rates compared to about 1 penny per pint in supermarkets. The UK’s high streets are more highly taxed than any other property market in Europe and this is clearly stifling investment.
“Currently, the calculation of rental values is not responsive enough to provide up-to-date information. We need a much more flexible system with more frequent revaluations, which is linked to annualised CPI and which has safeguards built in so as not to penalise success or over performing operators.”