Campaign Response to Beer Duty

Thank you for contacting me about support for pubs.

Pubs play a crucial role in the social and economic life of our nation, as well in helping to promote responsible drinking, which is why I am encouraged by the support which has made available to pubs and our manifesto commitment to further cut taxes for small businesses.

Through the Asset of Community Value scheme, communities can list facilities of local importance, including pubs. This means that if a pub owner wishes to sell up, the community has six months to come up with a plan and funding in order to try to save it. I am glad that there are now around 2,000 pubs across England listed as assets of community value.

To further support pubs, a freeze on beer, cider, and spirit duties was announced last year, a decision which I welcome. The Spring Budget 2017 also provided a £1,000 discount on business rates bills in 2017 for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 – 90 per cent of pubs in England – and I was pleased to see this extended in the Autumn Budget 2017 for a further year, through to March 2019. In addition, a one-third discount to business rates for pubs and bars with a rateable values below £51,000 was introduced in 2018.

Last year, the price of a typical pint of beer was 2p lower than if prices had risen with inflation; the price of a pint of cider was 1p lower; and the price of a bottle of Scotch whisky 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.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me

Yours sincerely

Sally-Ann Hart MP