The call comes as the Bank of England said that the impact of Brexit would contribute to a dramatic drop in real-term pay this year. The Bank of England governor Mark Carney warned that it as likely there would be a consumer spending squeeze as inflation rises and real wages fall.
CAMRA published its election manifesto calling for a range of pledges to help pubs. These included an annual business rates discount for pubs of £5,000; calls for a freeze in beer duty, retain small breweries’ relief, more favourable VAT rates for draught beer sold in pubs and for the pubs code to remain in place.
CAMRA head of communications Tom Stainer said: “When money is tight, going to the pub is one of the first things that consumers cut back on to try to make ends meet. While this is, of course, understandable, it actually has quite a harmful impact on a person’s wellbeing. Visiting a local pub on a regular basis makes people happier and feel better connected to their local community.
“The financial impact of Brexit could, of course, hit consumers, which is why we are asking election candidates to reduce the potential negative impacts from Brexit. We are also asking that they use the opportunity to provide new tax relief for pubs that was previously impossible due to European regulations. We believe that a reduced tax burden for pubs and other on-trade outlets as compared to the off-trade is vital to help keep pub-going an affordable activity for British consumers.”
CAMRA's full manifesto for candidates can be seen at www.camra.org.uk/pledgeforpubs and it is tweeting at #PledgeForPubs.