• Beer duty

    I value our pubs, which are often at the heart of community life, I myself am a CAMRA member of over ten years standing. It is concerning, therefore, that so many across the country continue to close every week. This loss is not only felt by local communities but by our economy as a whole in terms of jobs, trade and tax revenues.

    It should not be forgotten that the Coalition Government’s decision to increase VAT to 20% added around 6p to the price of a pint. I know that there was disappointment from some in the industry that there was not a fourth successive cut in beer duty in the March 2016 budget. CAMRA has stated that considering the current economic uncertainty and financial pressures on pubs, more action is needed.

    No change to beer duty was announced in the Autumn Statement and I know that attention has turned to the 2017 Budget and that CAMRA and the British Beer and Pub Association have called for there to be a cut next year.

    I appreciate that there was real disappointment that there was not more support announced on business rates for pubs in the Autumn Statement. The 2017 revaluation has left many small businesses at risk of closing due to large rate increases. The Government’s relief package does not go anywhere near far enough to helping these businesses, especially given the other pressures on them. I believe there should be an overhaul of business rates and I will continue to support efforts to press for fairer rates.

    In my view a comprehensive approach is required to support consumers and community pubs. For example, the Opposition have continued to hold the Government to account on issues such as the implementation of the statutory Pubs Code.