Kidd, who owns The Half Moon pub in Kirdford, West Sussex, has been forced to close her pub three times because of lockdowns and has struggled to make a profit while it was operating at limited capacity to meet social distancing guidelines.
She first started petitioning the Government for a cut in beer duty back in 2018 with the Long Live The Local campaign, which amassed almost 500,000 petition signatures and led to more than 250,000 people writing to their MP.
“Pubs face a range of tax pressures including VAT, business rates and beer duty,” she says. “The Government must act to help save pubs from the dire situation they face now.
“Following a year of lockdowns, severe trading restrictions and huge uncertainty, almost 2,000 pubs closed their doors for good. We must do everything we can to protect others from the same fate.”
“A cut in beer duty will help pubs, which are the backbone of local communities up and down the country. Not only do they provide livelihoods but also a social and cultural hub that so many of us are deeply missing at the moment.”
The Government froze beer duty in March last year but the industry needs for it to be reduced in the next budget on 3 March, says David Cunningham, programme director at Long Live The Local.
“The Chancellor must recognise the plight facing pubs and brewers and give them the cut for which they, and so many people, have been asking for three years – it’s never been more needed. Without support from Government, we’re at real risk of losing thousands more pubs from our villages, towns and cities”
Last year 87 million pints were thrown away costing pubs and brewers £331m. There are now growing concerns about the planned RPI linked increase in beer duty in the upcoming Budget, which the industry says seriously questions the survival of pubs and breweries.
“We appreciate all the Chancellor has provided the beer and pub industry throughout the pandemic, but the job is far from over,” says Emma McClarkin, CEO of the British Beer & Pub Association.
“A cut in beer duty will give our publicans and brewers an opportunity to reduce mounting costs, allowing them to survive and thrive when they are able to open again.”