I am grateful for the latest emails I have received from constituents who remain concerned about beer duty and support for our local pubs.
As I have said previously, I recognise the crucial role that pubs play in the social and economic life of our nation, as well in helping to promote responsible drinking. The Government has been clear in its support for consumers, pubs and breweries, and has taken action to this end – for example ensuring the price of a pint of beer is 14p lower than it otherwise would have been since ending the beer duty escalator in 2013.
At the 2018 Autumn Budget, duties on beer, cider and spirits were frozen again. This year, the price of a typical pint of beer will be 2p lower than if prices had risen with inflation; the price of a pint of cider will be 1p lower; and the price of a bottle of Scotch whisky will be 30p lower. This follows the removal of the beer duty escalator in 2013 and the unprecedented cuts and freezes in beer duty since then, as well as the removal of the duty escalator for spirits, wine and cider in 2014.
The Government is continuing to look at ways to improve the system of alcohol taxation, to ensure it helps to tackle binge drinking without unfairly penalising responsible drinkers, pubs and important local industries.
We are also supporting pubs by reducing their tax burden - cutting the business rates bills of small and medium-sized retailers which include pubs, by a third. This will have the greatest impact on pubs with a rateable value of £51,000 or below and will benefit between 70% and 85% of pubs.
Many pubs are also benefitting from up to 100% small business rates relief or the 100% rural rate relief, and from previous Government action to provide a £1,000 discount for small and medium-sized pubs.
I am encouraged by the package of support which the Government has made available to pubs, our great British spirits distilleries, cider producers and the brewing industry.
The subject was debated recently and you can read the Treasury Minister’s closing speech here: http://bit.ly/2Lgp8n8