ALMR, Budget Report on Rates etc.

By | March 8, 2017

ALMR

Safeguarding of rates appeals a positive move by Government

The ALMR has welcomed the Government response to its consultation on business rates appeals and the discarding of plans to dismiss appeals on the grounds of reasonable professional judgement; but is inviting additional clarity on the proposed alternatives.

In its response published today, the Department for Communities and Local Government confirmed it will not introduce the measure following negative feedback.

The ALMR has responded to the consultation arguing against the introduction of the measure pointing to a potential £95m bill for the licensed hospitality sector. The dismissal of the measure was one of the ALMR’s key Budget asks in its submission to HM Treasury.

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The ability to dismiss appeals on the grounds of reasonable professional judgement was a vague and unworkable option that could have potentially cost the sector tens of millions of pounds. Figures published by the ALMR showed that as much as £95m may have been lost had the measure been introduced and it is great to see this potential, catastrophic misstep avoided. We are now looking towards the Government to provide additional reassurances to us and our members on how the appeals system will function and the proposed alternatives to RPJ.

“It is absolutely essential the businesses are guaranteed a right to appeal and that the system for appeals is accurate, transparent and fair. The ALMR liaised with the Government to ensure that this measure was not introduced and that appeals were safeguarded. It is good to see the Government listening to the concerns of businesses and acting to ensure fairness and protect investment.”

ALMR welcomes Budget steps to ease business burdens and encourage investment

Budget Statement delivers on key ALMR asks:

  • Sector-specific relief – introduction of relief for pubs
  • Help for businesses hardest hit – £300m pot for local authorities available to restaurants
  • Root and branch reform of rates system – a commitment to medium term reform of the system to address the imbalance between high street and “clicks and mortar” businesses

The ALMR has welcomed the Government’s Budget Statement and steps to address business rates inequality for pubs and bars and to promote growth and investment across the UK’s businesses.

The ALMR has been at the forefront of the campaign to reduce business rates burdens for licensed hospitality businesses and safeguard investment and jobs.

The ALMR has also urged the Government to follow up on its ambition of making the UK the most attractive place to invest with a detailed plan to address wider business costs.

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said:

“The Chancellor has stated that he wants to make the UK the most attractive place in the world to do business. Cuts to Corporation Tax will help hardworking and successful businesses continue to grow and invest in their teams, but it must form part of a wider strategy on business tax.

“If the Chancellor is serious about encouraging investment then we need to see a detailed blueprint of how it is to be achieved and how this links with the Government’s wider industrial strategy.

“It is very encouraging to see the Government acknowledge and back the valuable work being carried out by the UK’s hardworking pubs, bars and restaurants. Sector-specific relief will help those businesses hardest hit by the revaluation. This much-needed Government support will save the sector over £24m and will help safeguard investment and jobs. We are pleased to see the Government acknowledge the issue and act positively to support a crucial growth champion and a sector with turnover of £60bn employing over 1.5 million. The £300m worth of relief made available to local authorities will also be crucial for addressing costs for hardworking, entrepreneurial restaurants also facing increased rates bills.

“The ALMR has been spearheading the campaign for business rates reform for a few years and we have been incredibly vocal on this issue over the past few months. The ALMR has been actively campaigning non-stop since September and helped coordinate a campaign as the voice of the sector at key meetings with Ministers and MPs. The ALMR’s Budget campaign focused on securing immediate support for those businesses hardest hit and facing the biggest increases and this is a good first step on the road to permanent reform.

“The next step is for the Government to instigate the long term, root and branch reform that is needed for pubs and bars. The Chancellor indicated that the Government will look at more frequent revaluations, something the ALMR has been pushing for, and we look forward to working with him going forward.”

A broader comment on the whole Budget will follow shortly.

ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls: “It is very encouraging to see the Government acknowledge and back the valuable work being carried out by the UK’s hardworking pubs, bars and restaurants. Sector-specific relief will help those businesses hardest hit by the revaluation. This much-needed Government support will save the sector over £24m and will help safeguard investment and jobs. We are pleased to see the Government acknowledge the issue and act positively to support a crucial growth champion and a sector with turnover of £60bn employing over 1.5 million.

“The ALMR has been spearheading the campaign for business rates reform for a few years and we have been incredibly vocal on this issue over the past few months. The ALMR has been actively campaigning non-stop since September and helped coordinate a campaign as the voice of the sector at key meetings with Ministers and MPs. The ALMR’s Budget campaign focused on securing immediate support for those businesses hardest hit and facing the biggest increases and this is a good first step on the road to permanent reform

“The next step is for the Government to instigate the long term, root and branch reform that is needed for pubs and bars and the ALMR is keen to work closely with them to achieve this.”

Leave a Reply