Beer tax freeze or cut 'most direct way' of keeping pubs open

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Duty bound: pub trade groups have called on the new Government to freeze or lower beer duty
Duty bound: pub trade groups have called on the new Government to freeze or lower beer duty

Related tags: Pub, Beer

Pub sector representatives have reiterated urges for the Government to reduce beer duty.

It comes after the Government outlined it would introduce a cut in business rates​ ahead of the Queen’s Speech last week.

While the move was welcomed by many in the sector others believe there also needs to be a lower rate of tax on beer to help struggling pubs.

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Emma McClarkin welcomed the commitment to change the business rates system but said action on duty was needed.

She said: “However, with seven out of 10 drinks sold in a pub being beer, it remains the case that a freeze or cut in beer tax at the next budget is the most direct way of helping pubs stay viable, so we hope that the commitment to a review of alcohol duties encompasses this.” 

During his election campaign Boris Johnson pledged a new Government led by him would look into alcohol duties.

Strength of feeling

McClarkin added: “It would also show that the Prime Minister is listening to the 230,000 supporters of the Long Live the Local​ campaign, which calls on the next Government to cut beer tax to support local pubs and the communities they serve. 

“It is imperative that the new Government recognises the strength of feeling on the matter.”

Some 231,000 people have signed Long Live the Local​’s petition calling on the Government to cut beer duty. 

Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) chairman Nik Antona said: “Pubs contribute positively to the UK, socially, culturally and economically. We look forward to working with Government and parliament to ensure the reforms mean pubs are treated fairly.

“CAMRA will continue to push for a lower rate of tax on beer served in pubs and will be bringing forward proposals in the new year.

“Finally, we urge the Government to complete its statutory review of the pubs code and ensure that it is fit for purpose.”

Related topics: Legislation

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