Trade bodies express relief at 'breathing space' given to pubs in Queen's Speech

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'Breathing space': Trade bodies express relief at pub-friendly Queen's speech
'Breathing space': Trade bodies express relief at pub-friendly Queen's speech
Trade bodies have given the thumbs up to the ‘breathing space’ afforded to the industry in the content of the Queen’s speech which — for the first time in 10 years — did not contain pub-specific legislative proposals.

Both the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) and the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) welcomed the Queen’s “slimmed down” parliamentary address, but warned that controversial bills on the statute books still required attention.

“This is the first Queen’s speech for over a decade which has not had a swathe of new pub-specific legislation in it — so we are seeing the tap turned off,” said Kate Nicholls, ALMR strategic affairs director.

“We now need to see the plug pulled out as well to reduce the oppressive weight of legislation and additional costs and burdens on business.

“We have lots of secondary legislation in the pipeline and bills on statute books yet to be implemented. It’s a good start, but let’s look at those too.”

A spokesman for the BBPA agreed: “It’s certainly high time we had a break from more strangulating measures for the pub trade —
but it’s worth remembering that there are controversial proposals still going through, like the late-night levy and the early-morning restriction orders.

“Measures we have already put forward for the removal of red tape in the licensing and tax regimes should certainly be on the Government’s agenda, if they want to promote growth in employment — which we can deliver under the right policies.”

Nicholls added that the Government needed to rethink the upcoming machine games duty and licensing fees generally, which add to the “cumulative burden” that pubs are currently facing.

“If we seriously want to restore business confidence and give a boost to growth, there must be drastic measures to cut costly regulation and a moratorium on new taxes on this industry. Tweaking is not enough,” she said.

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