Leading trade bodies have welcomed the Government’s announcement of business rates relief for pubs, and commitment to wider reform, has been welcomed.

The new pubs relief will be introduced in April, with £1,000 being taken off the business rates bills of small pubs who qualify.

UKHospitality said the announcement “recognises the unfair burden the pub and wider hospitality sector faces by this out-of-date tax”, which it said is paying £2.4 billion more than it should.

Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality CEO, said: “This is fantastic news for pubs and other high-street businesses who are taking too much of the pain from business taxes. The economy has evolved and the tax system needs to catch up. Taxing property higher than the rest of the developed world is a recipe for the decimation of our high-streets and communities, which we have already started to see.

She said UKH would continue to advocate for further cuts in business rates for all hospitality businesses and a cut in employment taxes to support firms in delivering higher take-home pay.

The British Beer & Pub Association also welcomed the announcement from Chancellor Sajid Javid, saying that pubs pay 2.8% of all business rates, despite accounting for just 0.5% of turnover.

Emma McClarkin, CEO of the BBPA, said: “Pubs are the heart of our communities, so this commitment to ease the burden of business rates is great news.

“Reducing rates for pubs is an important step in the right direction. Such reliefs are vital until the fundamentally unfair system is overhauled. However, some large pubs, and those that are subject to state aid restrictions, will be unable to claim this relief. Once the UK leaves the EU, the Government should look at reform of the state aid rules. It is also important local authorities work to ensure that these reliefs are as simple to claim as possible.

“Given that seven in ten alcoholic drinks sold in a pub are beer, the most direct way of helping all pubs is to cut beer duty.”

Meanwhile Sacha Lord, the Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester, described the move as positive support, but called for more

He said: “Along with these rate cuts, we need to go further and support business owners with better night time transport links, so they can continue to trade well after peak hours and during weekdays where the market traditionally tails off, especially for venues in the suburbs and rural communities.”

Last night public transport links, like those agreed in Greater Manchester, would give further support to smaller independent businesses, Lord added.