Thank you for contacting me about beer duty and support for pubs. This important issue will be of concern to many people in our area and across the UK, particularly in the current situation.
Pubs are at the heart of the UK’s communities and vital for our national economy. Before the coronavirus pandemic, the pub sector was supporting 900,000 jobs, generating £23 billion in economic value and providing £13 billion in tax revenues.
Pubs face a range of tax pressures, including beer duty, business rates, and VAT. It is deeply concerning that even before the current crisis pubs were under severe threat, with 18 closing a week.
The Chancellor froze beer duty in March, however, the coronavirus emergency has presented pubs with new challenges.
While the temporary cut in the rate of VAT from 20% to 5% for the hospitality sector is welcome, the Government must do more. We should all be concerned that the Government refuses to provide bespoke sector-specific support for businesses worst affected by public health measures.
Pubs are an essential feature of our national life and I am committed to giving them the support they need. I can assure you that I will continue to press the Government at every opportunity.