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2nd February 2022

Parliamentary inquiry launched into pubs’ business rates Call for Evidence

The All-party Parliamentary Beer Group (APPBG) is conducting an inquiry into pubs’ business rates and asks individual licensees, organisations and other interested parties to submit any evidence or ideas for reform that they would like to have considered by Wednesday 17th February 2022.

The inquiry’s terms of reference are:

To understand:

  • The impact of business rates on pubs’ operations in England and the efficacy of the valuation process and appeals system.
  • The fairness of business rates on a sectoral basis.
  • The impact of the Government’s current proposals for reform.

And to explore:

  • Hospitality as a catalyst for inward investment, high street regeneration and employment and skills growth.
  • Options for business rates reform to recognise this and pubs’ wider contribution locally and nationally, including rebalancing the burden of business rates between the digital and physical economies.

Launching the inquiry, APPBG Chair Mike Wood MP (Con, Dudley S) said: “The APPBG has reported previously on the pressures pubs face from business rates – most recently, shortly before the first lockdown in 2020[1]. Covid relief provided a welcome respite for many but did not tackle the underlying imbalances in the system. We want to find an equitable way to address this now, to give pubs a sporting chance of fighting back from Covid and contributing all they have to offer. As we’ve concluded before, pubs have extraordinary potential to catalyse investment, regeneration and innovation: let’s work out how rates can support, not hinder, this future. We would welcome any ideas and evidence.”

This cross-party inquiry coincides with the Government’s consultation on business rates[2] . All written evidence will be published on the APPBG’s inquiry website ( and virtual hearings will be held with invited witnesses on 23rd February. A report will be published in March.

Evidence should be submitted by email to Paul Hegarty, Hon Secretary, APPBG:  clearly identifying any information which is submitted in confidence.


All-party groups lack the formal scrutiny powers of a Select Committee, but a group may consider any matter which falls within its remit.  Previous inquiries by the APPBG include Beer Tax (1995), Licensing Law Reform (1999) , Community Pubs (2008), Beer Tax Fraud (2012), Unlocking Pubs’ Potential (2020) and Caskenomics: the future of cask beer (2021).

The APPBG was established in 1993 and is one of the largest APP groups. Its objectives are “to broaden recognition of the enormous contribution of brewing and pubs to the UK economy from grain to glass – and to celebrate the unique role that beer and pubs play in our society”.

[1] Unlocking Pubs’ Potential:


Press release from APPBG
For further information please contact Paul Hegarty by email or mobile: 07808 096250