A Portsmouth landlord has said it is ‘crunch time’ for the city’s pub trade ahead of a shake-up in business rates this year.
Paul Saynor, from the Rose in June pub in Milton Road, Copnor, said pubs were feeling the strain of increased taxes and many face the prospect of closure.
It comes as new research suggests the cost of a pint could go up by 5p - and as much as 30p - when new rates structures are introduced in April.
Rents and rates specialist CVS has claimed 17,160 pubs in England and Wales will receive increased demands, adding more than £70 million to their bills.
Mr Saynor said: ‘Our business rate bill for this year is quite considerably higher than before. For the last three or four years it has been a continual struggle to maintain a business in this trade.
‘We are always on the back foot. You get to the point when you wonder what else you can do.’
“We are always on the back foot. You get to the point when you wonder what else you can do.”Paul Saynor
CVS also said that under the new tax structure, pubs across the country will have to pour 121 million extra pints to be able to stay afloat.
The government has claimed that by permanently doubling the Small Business Rate Relief - the reduction for smaller businesses - from 50 per cent to 100 per cent, 600,000 companies will benefit.
CVS chief executive Mark Rigby said: ‘Although the SBRR will bring welcome news for small pubs, as of April, the rest of the industry faces unrealistic tax increases.
‘This is a sector already struggling, and this week we heard even more bad news for beer-drinkers as Heineken and Carlsberg are forced to pass on increased costs to consumers.
‘Once again, it’s not our government and local councils who will miss out, but the pub sector overall.’
Last week The Leopold pub in Southsea announced its closure, just days after being crowned the best pub in the region by the south-east branch of the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra).
Mr Saynor added: ‘In the last couple of weeks it has really hit home. You have got businesses which are having to close for no reason.
‘Previously the pubs that went were the ones that did not look after themselves but now many pubs closing are doing nothing wrong.’
Wetherspoons found and chairman Tim Martin told MailOnline the chain faces paying £8,000 per pub more in rates.
He said it would take rates per pint in a pub up to around 18p from the current 16p.
Business rates are paid on all non-residential properties, including shops, factories and pubs.
Councils send out bills each year, in February or March.
The amount owed will depend on the ‘rateable value’ of the property. This is based on the annual market rent value, determined by the Valuation Office Agency, using other local rents to work out an average.