Beer Duty / Business rates / Employment / 24 November 2016

BBPA responds to Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive, British Beer & Pub Association, has today responded to the announcements made in the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement:

“We understand action to help those on low pay, but given the current economic uncertainty there is a real need to look at the cost pressures facing pubs. Increases in the National Minimum Wage and Living Wage represent challenges for our sector, particularly in pubs, where labour costs are high, at between 14 and 25 per cent of operating costs.

“The doubling of Rural Rate Relief provides a welcome correction to an anomaly that would have penalised rural pubs, with pubs that qualify now able to claim 100 per cent relief on their business rates through the rural relief scheme.

“Whilst we support the reduction in the cap on transitional rate relief, the BBPA and other industry bodies had written to the Chancellor calling for broader support on business rates, prior to his announcement today. We want to see enhanced relief for pubs that will be hit hardest by the 2017 revaluation, and an overall review of how rates impact on Britain’s pubs.

“There have been no increases in beer duty rates, which is welcome, but duty accounts for up to 50 per cent of the costs of a UK brewer and remains a concern for the industry. Our rate of beer duty in Britain is considerably higher than all other major European brewing nations, and we are now calling on the Chancellor to cut beer duty in the 2017 Spring Budget, and tackle the unfair burden it places on Britain’s beer drinkers, publicans and brewers.

“The BBPA supports further moves towards a more productive economy and the Chancellor’s support for the Mayfield review. The BBPA has already carried out work with consultants McKinsey on boosting productivity, developing an app called ‘How Good Is Your Business Really?’”

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