Anne Main writes to Chancellor of the Exchequer after Save St Albans Pubs tour
PUBLISHED: 14:18 21 November 2018 | UPDATED: 14:18 21 November 2018
St Albans MP Anne Main has warned the Chancellor of the Exchequer that business rates are closing the city's pubs.
Last week, Mrs Main toured St Albans pubs heavily affected by business rates bills with Save St Albans Pubs, a group of landlords.
Now she has written to Philip Hammond to say: “Publicans have made it absolutely clear to me the measures that have been introduced by the government will see pubs close, jobs lost and will have a detrimental impact on our high streets and on the lives of so many people who enjoy going to their local pub.”
Ten per cent of St Albans pubs have closed due to cost pressures and the majority have seen a 56 per cent increase in business rates.
Rates for pubs are calculated based partly on the rateable value of the premises, which is calculated from variables such as turnover and whether the pub offers food.
Mr Hammond did unveil a 33 per cent discount off business rates bills for pubs with a rateable value under £51,000 last month.
But, Mrs Main said: “The recently-announced Budget rate relief did almost nothing for the majority of pubs in St Albans.
“This was mainly due to the high value of property in the area and the flawed formula [for calculating business rates].
“We should be doing everything we can to support small business owners, sadly the business rate policy is doing nothing to support pubs and their owners in St Albans.”
Save St Albans Pubs are calling for the discount to apply to all pubs and for an urgent review into the fairness and benefit of future rates reforms.
“These requests seem completely reasonable and I strongly believe the government should adopt these measures in order to provide vital support for this industry,” Mrs Main continued.
She invited the Chancellor, or any Treasury minister, to meet with her and Save St Albans Pubs to discuss the issue further.