Conservative MPs call for beer duty cut

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

Conservative MPs call for beer duty cut

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

A group of Conservative MPs have called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to cut beer duty in his Budget next week to help the ailing pub sector.

In a letter to the Treasury, the group argues that a reduction in the tax would support pubs that are struggling to survive the devastating impact of the pandemic.

It comes after the matterwas raised at Prime Minister's Questions earlier this week​, when Tory MP Giles Watling warned that pubs were closing across the country and that 'undercutting by cheap supermarket booze' was part of the problem.

Responding to the comment, Boris Johnson revealed that a review has been carried out into the differentiation in the beer tax paid between pubs and retailers, and Sunak was 'looking very closely at the findings'.

The latest initiative, which is backed by 68 Conservative MPs, has been co-ordinated by Durham North West MP Richard Holden - a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Beer Group and a Long Live the Local beer champion.

He said​“Our pubs are at the heart of our communities and lockdown has hit them harder than any other sector. Whilst the government support has been welcome, it has not made up for the massive impact of being closed for so long on these vital local institutions.

“The best way for them to build back better after this crisis is to get people back into pubs and the best encouragement for publicans and the public is to see real action on beer duty.”

Industry trade bodies UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) have also called for a cut in beer duty in their own letter​ to the Chancellor.

“It is up to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to deliver the support our pubs and brewers need," says Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the BBPA.

"That includes a beer duty cut that allows them to survive and thrive in the future. I hope he listens to our sector and those on his backbenches pleading him to do the right thing.”

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