Trade bodies call on chancellor to link April rates to April inflation

04 March 2024 by
Trade bodies call on chancellor to link April rates to April inflation

Five trade bodies have written to the chancellor calling for business rates in April to be aligned with current inflation.

Associations including UKHospitality and the British Beer and Pub Association have pointed out that as it stands April's rise is linked to the previous September's CPI, meaning hospitality business will be hit with a 6.7% increase.

They have called for Jeremy Hunt to instead use the Bank of England's Q2 forecast for inflation, which is currently 2.0%.

The letter, that is also signed by the Association of Convenience Stores, British Independent Retailers Association and British Retail Consortium said: "‘April's rates rise should be based on April 2024 CPI, rather than the level from seven months prior, when global cost pressures were still keeping inflation high. This would keep our business rates contributions in line with current changing prices, rather than introducing an inflationary rise. It would support our industries as they seek to drive greater investment in villages, towns and cities all over the country."

UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "The significant increase in business rates in April will affect two-thirds of hospitality's trade and will be yet another contributory factor to businesses reducing trade, diverting cash earmarked for investment or, at worst, closing for good.

"Revising the planned increase down to the forecasted rate of inflation in April would more accurately reflect the current economic circumstances and demonstrate that Government is listening to the concerns of businesses."

British Beer and Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin added: "Larger pubs which are subject to the standard rates multiplier face a 6.7% business rates increase this April which is why capping business rates increase is one of our principal asks of the Chancellor when he announces the Budget next week.

"Last year 530 pubs were forced to close, and we fear that this year another 500-600 may shut their doors for the last time if they are overwhelmed by the unprecedented cost pressures facing the sector. Capping business rates, alongside a cut to beer duty and reduction to VAT, will go a long way in helping to mitigate these pressures and help keep the price of a pint affordable."

The Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email

Start the working day with The Caterer’s free breakfast briefing email

Sign Up and manage your preferences below

Check mark icon
Thank you

You have successfully signed up for the Caterer Breakfast Briefing Email and will hear from us soon!

Jacobs Media is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The highest official awards for UK businesses since being established by royal warrant in 1965. Read more.


Ad Blocker detected

We have noticed you are using an adblocker and – although we support freedom of choice – we would like to ask you to enable ads on our site. They are an important revenue source which supports free access of our website's content, especially during the COVID-19 crisis.

trade tracker pixel tracking