Eight leading bodies representing the entire supply chain in Britain’s beer and pub industry have written to the Chancellor calling for decisive action to ease the burden of both Beer Duty and business rates in the Budget on 22nd November – to protect jobs, pubs, and the wider economy.
Britain’s growers, brewers, pubs, and pubgoers want the Government to extend and increase the pub-specific rates relief introduced this March, beyond this year and set out the timetable for major reform of the system. And on Beer Duty, they are calling for at least a freeze for the entire duration of this Parliament.
Pubs and brewing support 900,000 jobs and contribute £23 billion to the UK economy, the letter says. However, many pubs are facing huge business rates rises following the 2017 revaluation. Pubs pay five times more in business rates than their share of rateable business turnover while online businesses face a much more benign tax environment. Transitional relief helps, but tapers off and there are further planned increases over the coming years.
When it comes to beer, already, one pound in every three spent in the pub goes to the Exchequer. For Britain’s brewers, up to half their turnover is excise duty. The 3.9% Beer Duty increase in March was a major blow, severely undermining fragile sector confidence. Further planned Beer Duty increases will result in thousands of job losses throughout the UK, the group argues, and put at risk new investment in British brewing and pubs.
In calling for action on both these burdensome taxes, the letter concludes:
“These measures will create thousands of additional jobs, boost inward investment, tourism and export growth, and ensure a pint in the pub remains an affordable pleasure, bringing together people from all walks of life.
We are therefore urging the Chancellor to:
extend and increase the pub-specific rates relief beyond this year and set out the timetable for major reform of the system.
Implement at least a freeze in Beer Duty for the duration of the Parliament”