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Osborne disappoints

By editorial assistant Sandi Toxic

Posted November 25, 2015
Osborne disappoints

CAMRA and BBPA react to UK chancellor's Autumn Statement.

Today's (25/11/15) Autumn Statement by Bilderberger and Bullingdon boy George Osborne MP was arguably not very good news for the UK's beleaguered pubs sector.

Mind you, is anyone really that surprised?

"We are disappointed that the majority of pubs in England face a £1,500 [$2,270] increase in the amount they pay each year in business rates due to the chancellor's decision to discontinue the retail relief scheme," says Tim Page, CEO of the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), in a press release.

"At a time when pubs are being lost at the rate of 29 a week across the UK, it is vital that further action is taken to reduce the tax burden on pubs."

"The decision to axe the £1,500 business rate reduction that was benefiting most pubs increases the importance of a further cut in beer duty in 2016 and the need for longer-term reform of business rates to reduce the burden on pubs that are so important to local communities."

Meanwhile, the response from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) was more mixed.

"The extension of Small Business Rate Relief for another year is welcome, and is worth £25m, and is something we had specifically requested," says CEO Brigid Simmonds in a different press release.

"One third of pubs will qualify, 15,000 premises in total."

"However, it is very disappointing that the chancellor has not extended retail relief for a further year – this is effectively a £1,500 tax increase for the majority of pubs and will add £46m to pubs' rates bills."

"Retail relief was providing a discount for pubs with a rateable value of £50k or less, which is 75% of all pubs."

"This is a particular problem in the run-up to the revaluation in 2017 as rates bills have become out of kilter with the value of individual businesses."

"Britain's pubs face a total tax bill of £7.3bn per year, so we will be keeping up the pressure for further measures, such as more action on both beer duty and business rates, as we move towards the Budget in March."

"I do welcome the announcement that small businesses like pubs will typically not be burdened with the Apprenticeship Levy, as this would have placed an excessive burden on what are mostly small businesses," she continues.

"It is crucial that the Levy system is straightforward and allows those that pay into the Levy fund to access their full contribution to support apprenticeships."

"I also welcome the £40m for Visit England to fund product development, given the vital role that pubs play in the wider tourism industry."

See also A better deal for pubs, posted 19/11/15.

Sandi Toxic
was raised by wolves inside a disused clay pit near Lanjeth. You can befriend her on FaceBook here. She is still quite feral.

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