MPs unite to demand business rate reform for pubs
16 January 2019
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A day of political division saw an unlikely agreement emerge as MPs from across the political spectrum called for meaningful reform of business rates at a Parliamentary debate on the future of Britain's pubs.
Tuesday's debate, which was secured by St Albans MP Anne Main, saw MPs sharing examples of pubs across the UK that have been lost or are under threat due to sky-high business rates.
Speaking in the debate, Anne Main MP explained that "30 of the 50 pubs in St Albans have seen a rate increase. Astonishingly, they need to sell around 180,000 more pints per year to cover those increases."
"CAMRA, which is based in my constituency, recently provided a comprehensive submission to the Chancellor ahead of the Budget in September. It [CAMRA] has called for a full review of the business rate system with regard to pubs. It maintains that the current system is not fit for purpose and a review is needed to tackle the unfair penalisation of property-based businesses like pubs, especially given the vastly reduced levels of taxation paid by online retailers."
Tom Stainer, CAMRA's Chief Executive said: "It's great to see MPs from across the political divide coming together to recognise that pubs are a force for good. It's clear that MPs want fundamental reform of our outdated and unfair business rates system. I'd urge the Government to listen carefully to unified calls from backbenchers and from the pub industry to safeguard the long term future of the Great British Pub."
Notes to Editor:
The Hansard record of the debate is here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2019-01-15/debates/19011565000002/PubsBusinessRates
CAMRA, the Campaign for Real Ale, is a not-for-profit consumer group with over 191,000 members that has been operating since 1971. Our vision is to have quality real ale and thriving pubs in every community.