CAMRA urges next government to ‘keep business rates pledge’

By Georgina Townshend

- Last updated on GMT

Plea to Westminster: CAMRA calls for business rates pledges before the Queen's Speech
Plea to Westminster: CAMRA calls for business rates pledges before the Queen's Speech
Ahead of the Queen’s Speech (due on Monday 19 June), the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has called on the Government to deliver on its manifesto pledges to review the business rates system and “relieve the burden” on the pub sector.

CAMRA said the call comes after 130 MPs backed the industry group's online campaign #pledgeforpubs prior to the general election.

More than 773 parliamentary candidates supported the campaign, with 130 of those elected, to “celebrate and promote” Britain’s breweries, support action to help pubs thrive and represent the interests of pubgoers, beer and cider drinkers.

The Conservative Party manifesto stated that the business rates system “presents considerable challenges” to small businesses and went on to promise longer-term reforms.

Call for scheme extension

CAMRA called on the Government to make the £1,000 pubs relief scheme permanent and to extend it to £5,000 per pub per year – something the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) had also called for.

The campaign has also urged the Government to keep the brewing and pubs sector front and centre in the Brexit negotiations and to freeze beer duty for the duration of the next parliament.

Consumers 'will pay'

CAMRA national chairman Colin Valentine said pubs continue to face a huge tax bills that have been made worse with inflationary increases in beer duty and business rates.

“Ultimately, it is the consumer who will pay as publicans are forced to put up prices, which could lead to a number of pub closures in a time of austerity and uncertainty,” he said.

“This is why we are calling on the Government to adhere to its manifesto commitment to review the business rates system.”

Valentine said that with one in five MPs promising to back the brewing and pubs trade, he hoped those elected will come together to become a “powerful voice” for pubgoers and beer drinkers during the upcoming parliament.

The plea comes days after Fuller’s brewery and pubco chief executive Simon Emeny emphasised the importance of a “flourishing pub sector”​ for the UK economy. (LINK).

The Queen’s Speech is planned for Monday 19 June but could be delayed as the Conservative Party continues talks over forming a government with the Democratic Unionist Party.

Related topics: Legislation

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