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Sun 5th Mar 2017 - Award-winning English pubs to be ‘slammed’ by business rates hike – CAMRA
Award-winning English pubs to be ‘slammed’ by business rates hike – CAMRA: Four out of five of England’s top pubs will be slammed by crippling business rates hikes during the next five years, according to new research by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA). The campaign has called on the chancellor to provide immediate support for pubs, combined with a review of a business rates system that “fails to recognise the valued role of pubs in community life and penalises successful publicans”. CAMRA has calculated the business rates revaluation, effective from 1 April, will affect the top 16 finalists from the past four years of its National Pub of the Year competition, concluding that these award-winning pubs face an average 84% increase to their rateable value. Overall, 44 of the top 55 pubs in the country will see their rateable value increase, including 2017 Pub of the Year finalist the George & Dragon in Hudswell, North Yorkshire, which will experience a business rates rateable value increase of 68%. That figure is worse for some other finalists. The Baum in Rochdale, Pub of the Year winner in 2012, will see its rateable value rise by 377%. The Sandford Park Alehouse, the 2015 national winner, will see its business rates rise by 181%. These increases will be phased in over the next five years, with bills increasing by up to 43% next month. CAMRA is calling for urgent action in this year’s Budget to assist affected pubs, including a £5,000 rate relief reduction and greater funding for transitional caps to help reduce bill increases. CAMRA is also calling for a fundamental review of business rates to address the unfair burden on pubs and to ensure successful pub landlords are not penalised. CAMRA chief executive Tim Page said: “We need immediate action in the Budget on Wednesday to ensure the future of England’s best pubs. A business rates system for pubs that punishes and discourages excellence is in no-one’s interest. There is a real risk these huge increases will put some of the best pubs in the country out of business, causing irreparable harm to local communities and a loss of significant tax revenue for the government. An immediate £5,000 rate relief for pubs in England is essential to avoid causing serious harm to our best pubs.”

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