Chancellor considers alcohol duty cut under Budget plans

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Chancellor considers alcohol duty cut under Budget plans

Related tags: Beer duty, Beer duty cut, Budget, Coronavirus

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is considering plans to cut beer duty rates for pubs to below that of supermarkets in his Budget next week.

Yesterday (24 February), Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed to the Commons that a review has been carried out into the differentiation between pubs and retailers, and Sunak was 'looking very closely at the findings'.

It came after Tory MP Giles Watling raised the issue during Prime Minister's Questions, warning that pubs were closing across the country and that 'undercutting by cheap supermarket booze' was part of the problem.

“Now we are out of the EU surely we can do as we please on beer duty,” he said.

“Differentiation in favour of on-sales could deliver great benefits to pubs.”

Sunak is set to unveil his Budget next Wednesday (3 March), with the Chancellor understood to be poised to announce further VAT and business rate cuts for the hospitality sector into the summer, as well as another extension to the furlough scheme.

However, according to the Daily Mail,​ Treasury officials are examining even more dramatic plans for a major stimulus to the economy.

This could include lowering alcohol duty for restaurants and pubs until early summer, and possibly even a return of last summer’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Last week, model and publican Jodie Kidd made a plea to Sunak to cut beer duty​ in the Budget.

Others to call for the cut include trade body the British Beer & Pub Association, who said it would give publicans and brewers 'an opportunity to reduce mounting costs, allowing them to survive and thrive when they are able to open again'.

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