Beer on a bar top

The Liberal Democrats have called on the government to permanently protect local pubs from crippling tax hikes by introducing a 12.5% cap on business rate increases.

It comes as figures show that 12 local pubs have so far received funding from the government’s relief scheme, with a total of £12,000 handed out.

The government announced last March that pubs in England hit with higher business rates would receive a £1,000 annual discount this year. But this is just a one-off scheme, meaning pubs will not receive any further relief in future.

Reading Liberal Democrat spokesperson, James Moore, commented:

“Pubs form the bedrock of our local communities, but many now worry they will have to close their doors as a result of rising costs and crippling tax hikes.

“This relief is welcome, but it is only a temporary sticking plaster.

“We need to properly protect pubs in the long-term by capping business rate rises at 12.5%.”