The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has warned that each pub could face a £350 hike in its business rates bill if the Government does not announce a freeze in the tax multiplier in December’s Autumn Statement.

The organisation said today’s RPI (Retail Prices Index) inflation figure of 2.3% points to a £15m rise in business rates for community pubs, meaning a typical pub would face a £350 rise in the bill to £15,000 from April 2015. The business rates multiplier is used to calculate rates increases each year.

The BBPA is calling for “wholesale reform” of the business rates system, which it says places a far too high burden on businesses, particularly small, family-owned ones like the typical pub. It added rates can account for up to 10% of a pub’s operating costs.

As well as a freeze in the business rates multiplier, it is lobbying for an extension of Small Business Rate Relief to the end of the valuation period (2016-17), a raise in the threshold at which businesses qualify for this relief to £18,000, an improvement in billing and application of reliefs, and for the Government to deliver reforms to the administration and appeals process “at the earliest opportunity”.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “Business rates are placing unsustainable pressures on pubs, which is affecting jobs and investment, as well as damaging our high streets and villages.

“We have seen a lot of positive action from the Government in the past year, such as the existing cap on the rates multiplier, the application of retail relief, and the extension of Small Business Rate Relief. But the burden remains high and more needs to be done.”