UKHospitality has commended the Liberal Democrats’ plans to abolish business rates but stressed that action must be taken immediately to support hospitality businesses crippled by the system.

The Liberal Democrats have today published a blueprint for a replacement of the business rates system with a Commercial Landowner Levy taxing land, rather than property.

UKHospitality Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Despite Government commitments to a fundamental review of business rates, we are still stuck with an out-of-date system that unfairly hits hospitality businesses.

“The Lib Dems’ recognition that we need radical reform on rates and a complete overhaul of the system is positive for hospitality businesses. A move away from a property tax is positive, although any future system must also incorporate a tax on digital businesses to ensure they pay their fair share.

“We need action immediately, however, or hospitality businesses will continue to struggle against unfair taxes and there will only be further closures. In the short-term, we need to see a freeze of the multiplier, expansion of the pub relief to incorporate the wider sector and positive plans to use digital tax revenue to slash rates for community businesses.”