The trade body, which represents 150,000 members, has demanded chancellor Jeremy Hunt cut duty on beer and cider served in pubs, extend help with business rates and deliver a fair deal on energy costs in a bid to save the future of UK pubs.
CAMRA said its members are contacting their local MPs to ask them to support the organisation’s Save Our Pubs campaign ahead of the Autumn Statement on 22 November, which calls on the Hunt to:
Compete with supermarkets
• Reduce duty on draught beer and cider – cutting tax on pints in pubs to help them compete with the likes of supermarket alcohol
• Replace business rates relief schemes in England, which are due to end next year – with money to do the same in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland
• Make sure energy supply and pricing issues are fair for hospitality businesses
• End the ban on take-home draught beer and cider from most pubs and festivals.
CAMRA chairman Nik Antona said: “This really is a make or break moment for the future of the nation’s beloved pubs and social clubs, which are at the heart of community life.
“In August, the Government’s new alcohol duty system introduced a lower rate of tax charged on draught beer and cider served in pubs, clubs and taprooms.”
Axe red tape
He continued: “To really protect and promote pubgoing, the chancellor should reduce draught beer and cider duty further and give our locals a fighting chance with the likes of supermarket alcohol.
“The Government should also axe the red tape that bans pubs selling take-home beer and cider from draught-duty containers, which is a lifeline, particularly in rural communities.
“As customers continue to tighten their belts, licensees, brewers and cider makers face an uncertain economic future as they don’t know what their business rates or energy bills will look like in the next year.
“That’s why the licenced trade and consumers will want to see the chancellor taking action to guarantee a fair deal from energy supplies for hospitality businesses and, crucially, to extend help with business rates relief in England beyond April next year and allocate money to do the same in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.”