One Welsh pub will have to pay 527% more in business rates this year, since Wales doesn’t allow sharp rates increases to be phased in.
That’s an extra £650 per month licensees Jill and Ahmed Abdullah will have to pay. Pubs in England with steep rates increases will have them phased in, so that the maximum increase they will pay is 11%.
But Wales does not operate a transitional relief programme.
The Abdullahs bought the freehold of the Castle Inn at Pengenffold, Powys, in August 2008, after the property had been revalued for the 2010 ratings list.
This means the couple don’t know what trading information was given to the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).
Previously their rateable value (RV) was £4,100, which meant they were also eligible for Small Business Rates Relief of 25%. As their RV has increased to £19,600 they do not qualify for any relief.
Ahmed said: “We’ve looked at other pubs in the area with a similar trading style and their increases have been fairly modest.
“Finding £650 a month will be very difficult.”
The Abdullah’s were paying £152 by direct debit, but this will rise to £802. The couple have arranged a meeting with their local VOA.
The Federation of Small Businesses public affairs manager Simon Evans said: “Some local authorities have emergency funds. The first point must be to assess why the rates have gone up so much.”
I think I can answer that one, billions wasted at home and abroad, record national debt, a bloated public sector, and a government that has utterly ruined every aspect of this land in its time in power.