UKHospitality, the body that represents the UK’s hospitality sector, has issued a stark warning about a potential business rates bombshell.
It claims that, following the publishing of September’s inflation figures, hotels, restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and cafes will face a £113m hike in business rates across the sector.
The September Retail Price Index (RPI) figure, relative to the previous September’s number, is used to calculate the multiplier that will affect the business rates for the following April in the UK Chancellor’s Budget.
UKHospitality’s chief executive Kate Nicholls was fierce in her criticism: “These inflation figures are used to set the annual increase in business rates, and our analysis shows that thousands of businesses will be hit by rises totalling a £113m bombshell.
“Hospitality businesses and the millions of jobs they support are in urgent need of help from the Chancellor in this month’s Budget. They are increasingly struggling from the effects of a disastrous rates revaluation last year and an archaic tax system that is shutting down the UK’s growth engine and resulting in a bloodbath on our high streets.”
Nicholls didn’t stop there: “Business rates is an outdated part of our tax system and UK business urgently requires reform. We call on the Chancellor to announce a freeze in the Budget and introduce a new digital tax to slash the business rates burden on hospitality from April 2020.”