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Retail NI & Hospitality Ulster meet LPS on Rates Revaluation

Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI have today met with Land and Property Services Valuation Commissioner, Alan Bronte to discuss the forthcoming Rates Revaluation.

 

Retail NI Chief Executive Glyn Roberts said:

 

“This was a very useful meeting with the Commissioner as the Rates Revaluation process starts again”

 

“71% of Retail NI members had an increase in their rate bills following the last revaluation in 2015. This cannot be repeated in 2020”

‘In 2015, Retail NI had major concerns with the process and transparency of the valuation of our many of our members’ stores which has to be avoided in the 2020 Revaluation”

“It is welcome that we now have greater transparency with the valuation process and we will be closely working with the LPS to monitor it as we approach 2020”

Whilst welcoming the revaluation, Hospitality Ulster Chief Executive, Colin Neill raised issues with the model used, stating;

“We still have issues with the turnover model used to calculate rates on pubs and hotels, with rising overheads driving down profit margins and pushing up turnover. It is time that actual profitability was taken into account as high turnover does not equate a high profit, nor indeed any profit.”

Colin Neill also raised the issue of rates on food-led pubs and said the policy was delaying diversification of the pub sector:

“With many of our pubs now focusing on food, there is also an issue on how food sales are taken into the rates equation. Currently a pub selling less alcohol and more food than a comparable restaurant can be paying twice the rates. This is not only unfair but is actually holding back the diversification of the pub industry and impacting the tourism offer.

Concluding, Glyn Roberts and Colin Neill said:

“Business rates need radical reform and is the number issue facing our members”

“Both Hospitality Ulster and Retail NI have put forward a targeted and cost effective alternative to the current Small Business Rate Relief Scheme, which will ensure our members are able to reinvest money previously spent on rates, to employ more staff and grow their businesses”

“Last week, at a meeting with the NI Secretary of State, we urged him, in the absence of a devolved Finance Minister, to press ahead with our Rates Reinvestment Plan, which has the support of over thirty business organisations”

 

Glyn Roberts - 07515710517

Colin Neill - 07738354963