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BBPA welcomes Budget rates relief whilst criticising rise in beer duty

Commenting on today’s Budget, BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simonds, said: “We very much welcome the specific help for pubs with rate relief; £1,000 off for all pubs with a rateable value less than £100,000. We campaigned very hard for this and it is vital that this is extended in future years.

“We have been very clear with Government that pubs are paying 2.8 per cent of Business Rates, but only generate 0.5 per cent of turnover – an overpayment of £500 million.  This very specific acknowledgement that pubs are so important to local communities and are a force for good, is very welcome.

“I am also pleased that the Chancellor has also announced a wider review, and has taken up the cause of ensuring the rates burden is shared more fairly, especially when it comes to on-line business.

“We will wait to see further details of the funding for local authorities, and we would urge them to make pubs a priority. Pubs play a vital role in their local communities and are a force for good.”

“When it comes to beer duty, a return to unpopular beer duty rises, with an extra 2p duty on a pint, is not good news for the British beer industry and in turn pubs.

“Business Rates, auto-enrolment of pensions, the national living and minimum wage, and the Apprenticeship Levy were already adding the equivalent of 5.3p in beer duty.

“Beer tax has now risen by 43 per cent the past ten years. This latest rise will mean 4,000 fewer jobs this year, mostly in pubs. Tax rises on all alcohol will add £125 million to the cost base of pubs.

“Britain’s beer taxes are three times the EU average, and an astonishing thirteen times higher than those of the largest producer, Germany. If we are to compete in the future and as we move towards the challenges of Brexit, action must be taken on tax, to ease the burden on a beer and pub industry that supports around 900,000 UK jobs.”