Community pubs facing tax bombshell
Shadow Housing Minister Grant Shapps has warned of a ‘tax bombshell’ faced by community pubs this April.
New research by the Conservatives reveals that Gordon Brown’s tax inspectors are hiking up business rates for local pubs across country. Friendly community pubs with darts and pool tables face the biggest threat.
This comes as figures show that a net 3,690 local pubs have closed under Labour, according to official records held by tax inspectors.
"Gordon Brown has pushed local community pubs to the wall", Shapps said, pointing out that at the same time Labour has ignored "the binge-drinking dens that have wrecked our town centres and fuelled violent crime".
The three key elements of the tax bombshell are:
- New tax hikes on local pubs: New analysis of Government figures slipped out before Christmas has revealed that pubs, pub restaurants, wine bars, wineries and coaching inns face above-inflation hikes in their Rateable Values – and thus their tax bills. This will be top of Brown’s above-inflation rises in alcohol duty imposed in the Budget.
- Stealth tax on pub sports: According to the tax inspectors’ guidance, features such as a pool room, skittles alley, bowling green, children's play area and darts have been targeted. The clipboard-wielding inspectors have secretly toured pubs, recording "pool, darts or football teams playing in leagues". Pubs showing sport will not escape, as Sky Sports will be taxed extra, Ministers have admitted.
- Stealth tax on nice pubs: The tax manuals tell the state snoopers to take photographs inside and outside the pub, and record "Does the pub appear friendly and popular?". Factors being logged include good beer cellars/stores (thus taxing real ale), "rare and unspoilt pubs", and beer gardens (taxing those which have ducked the smoking ban).
Now here at Brew Wales we are non-political, as the editor has not been a member of any political party in the last 15 years. However when we have a Government hell bent on destroying the pub and beer industry as the one run by Colostomy Brown we will quite happily print press releases from other parties critcising the shambles we have have in power at the moment.