Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.Donate to our crowdfunder
I note my hon. Friend’s interest as chairman of the all-party beer group. I am happy to work with local authorities to develop community pubs. Listing a pub as an asset of community value gives communities time to bid to buy it should the owner decide to sell. We have supported community buying through the £3.6 million “More than a Pub” programme.
Many pubs will have welcomed the news about rural rate relief in the autumn statement, but they still face an immense challenge on business rates. What further steps could the Minister take with local authorities to help ease the burden of business rates on pubs?
We are permanently doubling the level of small business rate relief from next year, meaning that 600,000 small businesses will pay no business rates at all. In addition, 17,000 pubs may be eligible for small business rate relief from
Before the review, we agreed a methodology with the industry through which the revaluations would take place, so that is why that mechanism is used.
Like other businesses, pubs in my constituency are grateful for the raising of the threshold for the payment of rates, but they can suffer following bizarre Valuation Office Agency reassessment decisions that cancel out the benefit. As local authorities such as Somerset are now highly dependent on growing their rates revenue and on 100% rates retention, how can it be right that businesses face uncertainty from such a source?
This is an independent process and it would not be appropriate for Ministers to intervene in it. We have, of course, provided £3.6 billion of transitional relief for those businesses affected by the revaluation, but I refer back to the statistics I gave in an answer a moment ago about the number of businesses that could now qualify for 100% relief.