Pubs minister Marcus Jones has said that the current system for calculating pub business rates is unlikely to change ahead of next year’s revaluation.

The Valuation Office Agency (VOA) looks at rents and turnovers to work out a fair, maintainable trade figure, then applies a percentage to work out the rateable value. The percentages are agreed with the British Beer & Pub Association.

Speaking at yesterday’s (26 May 2016) PMA500 event in London, the minister said that there was ongoing discussion between the VOA and trade bodies. However, he suggested that the likely outcome would be that the 2017 revaluation was likely to continue to be based on the current model.

“Since 1995, the way we calculate rates is not only based on property, but also fair maintainable trade. The idea behind that is to give the system some consistency,” Jones said.

“It’s really interesting that during the process this time, both the VOA and all the organisations that represent operators have come to the conclusion that the way that calculations are currently worked out, which is on fair maintainable trade, is the right thing to do and carry on with. That’s the way that things are heading.”

Licensees will find out what this means for their pub at the end of September this year, he added.

Answering questions from members of the PMA500 business club in London last week, the minister also called for greater clarity on asset of community value (ACV) powers. “There’s a feeling that there needs to be more consistency and clarity in the way that ACVs are applied and that’s something that I’m looking very closely at, so that everybody knows where they are,” Jones said when asked about potential reform.

Despite this, he ruled out any immediate change to the current laws. He told delegates: “Before we make any changes to the current legislation [though], we should take account of the views of all parties. There are no plans to take that forward in the immediate future.”