What is the difference between a pub, where over 50% of its sales are food, and a restaurant?
The chancellor's decision to discount £1,000 in rate relief from all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 is indeed welcome for hard-pressed landlords, but what about those small restaurants also hit by substantial rises in business rates and who operate in exactly the same business environment as pubs? Why specify for relief only one section of the industry when all small hospitality operators are facing identical challenges?
The British Beer and Pub Association has certainly lobbied very effectively for its members, but small restaurants, which are being affected by exactly the same issues, have been ignored. Who is lobbying for them?