Growth and Infrastructure Bill

Memorandum submitted by the Business in Sports and Leisure (GIB 86)

Comments: Growth and Infrastructure Bill – Clause 22: Postponement of compilation of rating lists to 2017

Business in Sport and Leisure is the strategic body representing the private sector in the sports and leisure industry. Business in Sport and Leisure seeks to grow and protect the sport and leisure industry. With over 25 years of experience, Business in Sport and Leisure works with Government on behalf of the industry and our members in sport, licensing, gambling, employment, property, planning and taxation.

Business in Sport and Leisure supports the points made by Gerald Eve, the British Beer and Pub Association and others, namely:

· If the purpose of five-yearly revaluations is, according to the Government, "to make sure each ratepayer pays their fair contribution and no more", then delaying the revaluation is unfair to struggling businesses in the pub, leisure and hospitality sectors as they will be made to pay excessive rates, effectively subsidising those who have fared relatively better.

· According to the British Beer and Pub Association, apart from rent, rates are the third bi ggest cost to licensees (after staff costs and utilities) and one which they have no control over. The pub sector has faced many challenges over the past few years – a poor economic situation, beer duty, fewer customers, lower turnovers and squeezed margins. Although rents have come down by an estimated 20% since 2008, because of the time since the last valuation, rateable values do not reflect this. Coupled with a backlog of appeals from the 2008 revaluation, many pubs feel that they are stuck paying rates which are already too high.

Business in Sport and Leisure disagrees with the postponement of the 2015 rating revaluation. Clause 22 should be removed from the Bill.

5 December 2012

Prepared 10th December 2012