The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to permanently protect local pubs from crippling tax hikes by introducing a 12.5% cap on business rate increases.
It comes as figures show that 53 local pubs have so far received funding from the government's relief scheme, with a total of £90,077 handed out.
The government announced last March that pubs in England hit with higher business rates would receive a £1,000 annual discount this year. But this is just a one-off scheme, meaning pubs will not receive any further relief in future.
Liberal Democrat spokesperson Elaine Bagshaw commented:
“Pubs form the bedrock of our local communities, but many now worry they will have to close their doors as a result of rising costs and crippling tax hikes.
"This relief is welcome, but it is only a temporary sticking plaster.
"We need to properly protect pubs in the long-term by capping business rate rises at 12.5%."
Notes to Editors
The Liberal Democrats are calling for a new ‘Pub Cap’ limiting increases in rates bills to 12.5% on pubs, restaurants, hotels and cafes, as already exists in Scotland, to be extended to England. The policy was passed at the party's recent Autumn conference (link).
250 out of 327 local councils in England replied to Freedom of Information requests by the Liberal Democrats. Full data by council can be found here