RESOURCE: 12.5% business rate cap needed to protect local pubs – template press release

See the template press releases below from the Lib Dem Press office on the need to cap business rates to protect local pubs.

Paul Haydon at LDHQ writes: “You can adapt these using figures we have put together using Freedom of Information requests, showing that four in ten councils in England haven’t yet started distributing funds from the government’s relief fund for pubs hit with increases to their business rates.

The first press release is for those who’s local council hasn’t yet started distributing the funds, the second is for those that have.

For those councils that have started giving the funding out, we also have figures on the number of pubs that have been fitted and by how much.”

Template 1

Pubs in AREA still waiting for business rates relief – Lib Dems

Dozens of pubs in AREA hit with crippling hikes to their business rates still haven’t received any funding from the government’s flagship relief scheme, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

The government announced last March that pubs in England hit with higher business rates would receive a one-off £1,000 annual discount. But six months on, (LOCAL COUNCIL) still hasn’t begun distributing the funds, REASON (e.g. blaming a delayed software update, as it was waiting for the final scheme to be approved, has contacted local pubs and is waiting for a response).

Across England, four in ten councils still haven’t even been able to start distributing the relief, with many blaming software problems, the absence of clear guidance from the government and lack of time to put local schemes in place.

The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to protect pubs by introducing a 12.5% cap on business rate increases, as is currently the case in Scotland.

Liberal Democrat spokesperson, XXX, commented:

“Many pubs in AREA that have been hit with crippling tax hikes are now being left in the lurch.

“This rushed scheme has been plagued with problems from the start. Local councils have had to deal with software glitches, a lack of clear guidance from ministers and little time to prepare.

“Pubs form the bedrock of our local communities, but many now worry they will have to close their doors.

“Instead of this temporary sticking plaster, we need to properly protect pubs by capping business rate rises at 12.5%.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The Liberal Democrats are calling for a new ‘Pub Cap’ limiting increases in rates bills to 12.5% for pubs, restaurants, hotels and cafes – which is already the case in Scotland – be extended to England. The policy was passed at the party’s recent Autumn conference (find out more). 250 out of 327 local councils in England replied to Freedom of Information requests by the Liberal Democrats. See the full data by council.

 

Template 2

Lib Dems call for 12.5% business rates cap to protect pubs in AREA

The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to permanently protect local pubs from crippling tax hikes by introducing a 12.5% cap on business rate increases.

It comes as figures show that (INSERT NUMBER) local pubs have so far received funding from the government’s relief scheme, with a total of £X handed out.

The government announced last March that pubs in England hit with higher business rates would receive a £1,000 annual discount this year. But this is just a one-off scheme, meaning pubs will not receive any further relief in future.

Liberal Democrat spokesperson, XXX, commented:

“Pubs form the bedrock of our local communities, but many now worry they will have to close their doors as a result of rising costs and crippling tax hikes.

“This relief is welcome, but it is only a temporary sticking plaster.

“We need to properly protect pubs in the long-term by capping business rate rises at 12.5%.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The Liberal Democrats are calling for a new ‘Pub Cap’ limiting increases in rates bills to 12.5% for pubs, restaurants, hotels and cafes – which is already the case in Scotland – be extended to England. The policy was passed at the party’s recent Autumn conference (find out more). 250 out of 327 local councils in England replied to Freedom of Information requests by the Liberal Democrats. See the full data by council.


Comments
Ian Shires says

Just to update you. I checked with Walsall MBC's Finance Officers and the response was as follows

The pub relief has been implemented, so we are one of the 4 in 10 councils. We identified just over 80 pubs that may qualify for the relief.

Where we felt that the state-aid was not an issue we awarded the relief and got the ratepayer to confirm that they would be entitled. Where the ratepayer was a large chain then we wrote to them asking if they want to apply.

We have awarded pub relief on 44 occasions with a total award of £41,533.80

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