Tom Brake MP calls on Chancellor to Keep Pubs Afloat

Carshalton & Wallington MP Tom Brake has joined with representatives of the UK's beer drinkers, pub goers, brewers and publicans to urge the Chancellor to keep pubs afloat in the Autumn Budget.

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Brake was one of over 50 MPs to add their voice to the campaign, calling on the Chancellor to give serious consideration to introducing an annual £5,000 business rate relief for pubs in England as well as a freeze in beer duty for the rest of this Parliament.

Tom Brake MP said:

"Pubs are a force for good in Carshalton & Wallington and across the UK. Pubs are at the heart of our communities and the local economy, but they are struggling under the weight of a growing tax burden, with each paying nearly £140,000 on average in tax every year.

"In Carshalton & Wallington we have 22 fantastic pubs, including The Sun, Greyhound, the Wallington Arms and the award-winning pub The Hope, and the industry supports 640 jobs. These establishments need all the help they can get, which is why I’m asking the Chancellor to do whatever he can to support them in the Autumn budget.”

Reviews of business rates across England mean many pubs are being hit with a massive new financial burden, which in some cases could only be covered by them selling thousands of extra pints of beer every year. The Government introduced a welcome one-off £1,000 discount scheme for some pubs in the latest Budget, but more action is needed to keep pubs afloat.

Taxes now make up a third of the cost of a pint, and UK beer duty is among the highest in Europe. Recent research carried out by YouGov [1] for CAMRA found that 55% of people who expressed an opinion believe beer duty is too high at 54p per pint.

Brake said:

“The £1,000 business rates relief introduced this year has been a valuable lifeline for many pubs but it’s clear this is not enough to secure the long-term future of our valued pubs. I urge the Chancellor to go further and show more support for this important industry”.

Notes:

Representatives of the UK's beer drinkers, pub goers, brewers and publicans supporting the calls for action on beer duty and business rates include the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR)

[1] All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2076 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 25th-26th July 2017. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

The YouGov survey asked: “For the following question, by ‘beer duty’ we mean a tax that is added to the cost of beer. On average, beer duty currently makes up 54 pence per pint of 5% ABV beer sold in the UK. Do you think this level of tax is too high, too low, or about right? (Please select the option that best applies). Of the all UK adults who responded (excluding those who responded “don’t know”, 55% said it’s too high, 9% said it’s too low, and 36% said it’s about right.

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