Beer Duty

Date: 07.09.21 | in: business, Leisure, Tourism and Heritage

I have long been a supporter of the campaign to reduce Beer and Pub Taxation:

Pubs are the beating heart of our high streets and part of the social fabric of communities throughout the country. They play an important role in our national economy and, indeed, before the coronavirus pandemic, the sector was supporting 900,000 jobs, generating £23 billion in economic value and providing £13 billion in tax revenues. I am aware though that pubs face a range of tax pressures, including beer duty, business rates and VAT. Even before the pandemic, pubs were under severe threat, with a 15% fall in their number from 2010 to 2020.

Beer duty was frozen at the Budget. I know that Long Live the Local welcomed this freeze. In response to Long Live the Local’s wider proposed tax reforms for pubs, the Government has simply stated that it “keeps all taxes under review and any changes made will be announced at the next fiscal event.”

Last year, the Government published a call for evidence for a review of alcohol duties. It says this review aims to make the current system simpler and more economically rational and will have to consider how to balance various factors, such as supporting public health, protecting tax revenues and providing a fair deal for all parts of industry. I can assure you that I will continue to monitor developments on this issue.

On business rates, a fundamental review of the business rates system was scheduled to conclude earlier this year but has been pushed back to the autumn. Given the number of jobs depending on our pubs and the threat those jobs face, I believe this review must not be delayed any longer than necessary and must lead to wholesale reform. An overhaul of business rates is long overdue and must be part of a real plan to help our hospitality industry thrive.

More widely, with many businesses in the hospitality sector having seen over a year of closures and lost trade, I believe it is vital that they receive proper support to help them recover from the pandemic. Pubs and breweries should not lose out because of the sacrifices they have made to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

All details are correct at date of publication shown at the top of the article

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