Save St Albans Pubs campaign against business rate rise backed by Liberal Democrats

The Boot is facing a 286% rise. Supplied by The Boot.

The Boot is facing a 286% rise. Supplied by The Boot. - Credit: Archant

The Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for St Albans has criticised plans to raise business rates for some of the city’s pubs.

The Save St Albans Pubs campaign has calculated 80 per cent of pubs will see a 72 per cent increase in their rates, with The Boot pub facing a 286 per cent rise.

Lib Dems parliamentary candidate for St Albans, Daisy Cooper, said: “I have been working with the Save St Albans Pubs campaign, and the feedback I am getting is that many pubs in the area are extremely worried.

“Against a backdrop of increased rents and higher labour costs, our pubs are being punished by the Conservative government simply for committing to the economic life of their neighbourhoods.

“Why should a local pub face an increase that could threaten its entire business, yet Sainsbury’s in London Colney enjoys a tax cut?

“We are calling upon the local council to stand up for local pubs and to find a way of giving them support so as to keep this essential part of the district’s life thriving.”

In a reply to a letter from Harpenden MP Peter Lilley, communities minister Sajid Javid said pubs had seen “significant changes in what they offer customers since 2010, such as casual dining, and many have experienced significant turnover increases”.

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He added: “This is reflected in rental and, therefore, rateable values for this revaluation.”