This week I met with representatives of the UK's, pub goers, brewers and publicans to urge the Chancellor to support pubs in the Autumn Budget. I am calling on the Chancellor to introduce an annual £5,000 business rate.
In Garston & Halewood we have 36 pubs, and the industry supports over 700 jobs. Pubs are often at the heart of our communities and the local economy, but they are struggling under the weight of a growing tax burden, with each paying nearly £140,000 on average in tax every year.
Reviews of business rates across England mean many pubs are being hit with a massive new financial burden, which in some cases could only be covered by them selling thousands of extra pints of beer every year. The Government introduced a welcome one-off £1,000 discount scheme for some pubs in the latest Budget, but more action is needed to keep pubs afloat.
Taxes now make up a third of the cost of a pint, and UK beer duty is among the highest in Europe. Recent research carried out by YouGov for CAMRA found that 55% of people who expressed an opinion believe beer duty is too high at 54p per pint.
The £1,000 business rates relief introduced this year has been a valuable lifeline for many pubs but it’s clear this is not enough to secure the long-term future of pubs. I urge the Chancellor to go further and show more support for this important industry.