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On-trade faces £846m bill without business rates freeze

Trade body UKHospitality is urging the government to freeze business rates to help the on-trade avoid an £846 million (US$1.03bn) bill next April.

Hospitality venues are calling for further business rates relief in the autumn budget

The trade association is also urging the UK chancellor Jeremy Hunt to extend the current relief package in the autumn budget to avoid ‘this unaffordable rise’. The autumn budget is due to be announced on 22 November 2023.

To support UK hospitality businesses, UK Hospitality is urging Hunt to avoid an inflation-linked business rates rise, thus saving companies £234m (US$284m).

Furthermore, it is calling for business rates relief to be kept at 75% for the trade, which would save the sector £630m (US$765m).

Kate Nicholls, chief executive of UKHospitality, said: “Today’s figures finally confirm the bleak picture facing hospitality businesses next April. Almost a billion pounds in extra costs from business rates alone is unfathomable – and insurmountable – for many.

“Such dramatic cost increases would undoubtedly be the final nail in the coffin for many businesses.

“It would be particularly perilous for small, independent businesses, for which ongoing relief measures are a lifeline at a challenging time.

“Hospitality is at the heart of our communities and it’s essential we do all we can to protect them and the value they bring, from driving economic growth to creating jobs.

“It’s imperative that the chancellor takes clear action at the autumn statement to extend the current relief measures for a further year to protect the vital community assets that make up the UK’s vibrant hospitality sector.”

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