Sunak urged to fulfil previous commitments

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Desperate need of relief: sector petitions Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to fulfil his previous commitments (Credit: Getty/mammuth)
Desperate need of relief: sector petitions Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to fulfil his previous commitments (Credit: Getty/mammuth)

Related tags Bbpa Legislation Government Finance Long Live the Local

Pubs and brewers in “desperate need of relief” as leaders from across the sector urge newly appointed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to recognise the importance of pubs and breweries before it’s “too late”.

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the Long Live the Local campaign, supported by 146,000 members of the British Public, have put their name to a petition calling on the Government to save pubs and breweries from closure​ by reviewing the U-turn on freezing alcohol duty, lowering business rates, and reinstating the lower rate of VAT.

Furthermore, the petition called on Sunak​, who was instated as Prime Minister​ yesterday (Monday 24 October), to fulfil the commitments he made in October 2021 as Chancellor including the reformation of the current system of alcohol taxation, which he described as “outdated, complex and full of historical anomalies”, as well as reforming and simplifying alcohol duty.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “Our pubs and brewers are in desperate need of relief.

Lifeblood of the country 

“The cost of doing business is completely out of control and whilst we welcomed an intervention on energy it is just one of a myriad of spiralling costs our publicans and brewers are facing.

“The Prime Minister has shown before he believes in our sector as one that is not only at the heart of so many communities across the country, but also that with the right investment our sector has the potential to deliver jobs, growth and support local economies in every part of the UK.

“We really hope the new PM and his Chancellor will once again step up and show they recognise just how important pubs and breweries are to the lifeblood of this country before it is too late.”

This comes as pubs, bars, cafés, restaurants, and hotels saw a net decline of one closure​ per hour in the third quarter of this year, with just 104,000 licensed venues​ nationwide at the end of last month, according to the latest Hospitality Market Monitor ​​from CGA and AlixPartners.

Assurance for the future 

Stockport based multi-site operator Jamie Langrish joined the calls for future assurance, stating he has had to make some "really tough decisions" in the wake of soaring costs, including considering closing the kitchen in one of his sites and postponing the refurbishment of another. 

He said: “For months now costs have been rising on absolutely everything across my business from key ingredients​ to energy​ bills.

“I really want to keep my pubs running for the local communities they serve and provide a warm and welcoming space and experience, but it’s becoming near impossible to run a viable business.

“The energy cap for businesses was a welcome short-term relief but I need assurance for the future that costs​ are going to go down permanently across the board otherwise running my pubs simply won’t be doable.”


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