Beer Duty / Business rates / Community / Pubs / 25 November 2019

BBPA responds to Conservative manifesto

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the leading trade association representing Britain’s Brewers and pubs, has today responded to the publication of the Conservative Party manifesto.

The manifesto has outlined that the Conservative Party would:

  • Cut business rates for small retail businesses including pubs
  • Establish a £150 million Community Ownership Fund to help purchase community assets including pubs
  • Review alcohol duty to ensure the tax system is supporting British drink producers

Commenting on the manifesto, a British Beer & Pub Association spokesperson said:

“Pubs are the heart of our communities, so the commitment to ease their tax burden is welcome. Three pubs a day close their doors for good due to the tax pressures they face.

“On business rates, pubs pay 2.8% of the total rates bill, despite accounting for just 0.5% of turnover. Reducing rates for pubs is an important step in the right direction. Such reliefs are vital until the fundamentally unfair system is overhauled.

“When it comes to community pubs, what is needed is investment and support. It is important that measures to bolster the rights of individual communities to purchase pubs do not act as a disincentive to invest in or operate a pub business.

“The commitment to review alcohol duty to support British drink producers is very welcome. Beer tax is a particular burden for pubs where 7 out of 10 alcoholic drinks sold are beer, a lower strength British made product. Particularly as we pay 11 times more beer duty than both Spain and Germany.

“A freeze or cut in beer tax at the next budget is the most direct way of helping pubs stay viable. It would also show that Boris Johnson is listening to the 220,000 supporters of the Long Live the Local campaign, calling on the next government to cut beer tax to support local pubs and the communities they serve. With a further 109,000 people also writing to their MP calling on them to support pubs by cutting beer tax, it is imperative the next government recognises the strength of feeling on the matter.”

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