Relief on Business Rates for Toilets

Budget 2018:
Business rates cut for public toilets

29 October 2018

Owners will no longer pay business rates on public toilets, the chancellor announced.

The BTA has been campaigning for nearly ten years to get some RELIEF for organisations providing this vital service to everyone. We were delighted to hear the chancellor speech (jokes and all) as it brought with it an opportunity for providers and suppliers to put some added revenue into cleaning & maintenance activities.

Publicly accessible toilets are VITAL to our everyday activities and in addition to being a total necessity for many user groups and individuals with accessibility needs – parents with young children and supporting the dignity and well-being of older persons – they bring extended relief for our tourism industry, day-trippers and the growing numbers of mobile workers travelling throughout the UK.

Philip Hammond revealed the policy in his Budget speech, joking it was virtually the only announcement that had not been “leaked”. We’re hoping the news will cascade across the borders and Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland governments will quickly follow suit.

The relief will apply to any standalone facilities available for public use, whether publicly or privately owned.
The British Toilet Association has estimated that 40% of public toilets have disappeared in the past decade.

More than 600 public toilets across the UK have stopped being maintained by councils since 2010 and in 37 areas major councils no longer run any, according to figures obtained by the BBC.

Details of that report are ccontained in a deperate POST on this website

Local authorities are not legally required to provide toilets, so they are often closed as councils look to cut costs. Public toilets have traditionally been liable for business rates in the same way as other non-domestic premises such as shops and offices. MPs groaned as Mr Hammond made a string of toilet jokes, including saying that local authorities could at last “relieve themselves”.

The chancellor also promised to help High Street shops by cutting business rates by a third for all retailers in England with a rateable value of £51,000 or less.