Following growing concerns that local councils were not acting swiftly enough to ensure pubs receive all the business rates reliefs to which they are entitled after changes in the Budget, the BBPA has welcomed the firm line issued by the Department of Communities and Local Government, telling councils that it expects them to deliver the discounts and communicate this to those ratepayers that qualify.
The notice comes in a detailed ‘Business Rate Information letter (4/2017) which is available on the DCLG website, here. In May, BBPA Chief Executive, Brigid Simmonds had urged Government and local authorities to work together to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
The advice to councils to ensure reliefs are granted, covers premises facing the loss of either small business rate relief, or rural rate relief, but also makes clear that this applies to the new, pub-specific rates relief for premises with rateable values under £100,000, with the issuing of an annex to the document on the design and delivery of the scheme.
BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simmonds commented, “I am grateful to DCLG for issuing clear guidance that stresses how important it is for councils to ensure that local business receive all the rates relief for which they qualify. Local authorities now need to get on and deliver these lower bills to businesses. For pubs, this is much needed, given the very great extra cost pressures they are facing this year.”