ALMR intensifies business rates campaign

Claire Dodd

Claire Dodd

22 February 2017

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) says it has stepped-up its campaign to bring about business rates reform, with a letter to the Telegraph.

Chief executive Kate Nicholls has also spoken to the BBC to highlight the issue and call for immediate action to safeguard venues.

It is feared that steep increases in rates for some businesses with make them untenable when introduced in April. According to the ALMR, the Treasury stands to collect an additional £1bn in rates once the new tariffs come into effect.

Nicholls said: 'The prominence of the ALMR's campaign, along with sector-wide efforts, to bring about business rates reform for pubs shows what a crucial issue this is. Pubs and bars are looking at rates increases in every sector of the UK and it is well past time that the government acted to provide support for businesses facing the greatest burdens.'

However, the ALMR says it welcomes the decision by the Scottish government to cap rates increases at 12.5% and the Welsh government's proposal to introduce hospitality relief worth £10m. It has called upon the UK government to follow these examples with similar measures to ensure fairness in rates bills for pubs and bars.

Nicholls added: 'These moves by the Scottish and Welsh Governments are a good first step in recognising that hospitality businesses are being unfairly treated by a system that does not work. Westminster must follow this example with sector-specific relief for pubs and bars that are uniquely disadvantaged by this totally unsuitable system.'

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