BBPA welcomes Labour change of heart over duty hike

By James Wallin contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Leader ed miliband, Executive brigid simmonds, Small business

Brigid Simmonds attended the Labour conference on behalf of the BBPA
Brigid Simmonds attended the Labour conference on behalf of the BBPA
British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds has welcomed a seeming Labour u-turn over beer duty.

In the weeks leading up to the Labour conference in Manchester there had been speculation that the party would use duty hikes to fund the NHS.

However in his speech today leader Ed Miliband only mentioned increases to tax for tobacco companies.

Simmonds said: “There had been rumours of this swirling around before the conference and it was obviously of great concern to us.”

She said she was also wary about how Labour would fund its proposed cut to business rates for small companies, with the suggestion that larger companies would foot the bill.

She said: “We support action on business rates but don’t agree with larger companies paying the price for that, and not just because many of the BBPA members are large firms. I am uncomfortable with policies that are paid for by putting up taxes for one section of the community.”

Support

Simmonds said she had found general support for the pub sector in events she had attended around the conference but warned it was too early to call how pub-friendly the political parties would be.

She said: “Everyone is a little battle weary after Scotland and while I’m sure there are private discussions being held, it is too early to draw any conclusions.

“I am slightly wary that Labour don’t have enough meeting s with business and I would expect them to be open to all views as we get closer to the general election.”

She said the Small Business Bill, which contains the Government’s proposals for a pubs code, had not been a major topic of debate at the conference.

She said: “We are aware that Labour would like to see more done in terms of free-of-tie. I have no doubt that there will be many more opportunities to discuss that issue as the bill progresses.”

Related topics: Legislation

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1 comment

Forgetful

Posted by RFM,

It seems EM forgot large chunks of his speech, so can we be sure about anything he said.

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