MP calls for measures to support local pubs
Arundel & South Downs MP Nick Herbert has called for measures to support local pubs, including a reduction in business rates and a freeze on beer duty.
Mr Herbert lent his support last week to the ‘keep pubs afloat’ campaign which is calling on the Chancellor, ahead of the Budget on 22 November, to give serious consideration to introducing an annual £5,000 business rate relief for pubs in England as well as a freeze in beer duty for the rest of this Parliament.
The MP has expressed concern about the impact of the business rates revaluation on local pubs, many of which are being hit with a 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 last Budget, but more action is needed. Taxes now make up a third of the cost of a pint, and UK beer duty is among the highest in Europe.
According to Camra there are 7 breweries and 98 pubs in the Arundel & South Downs constituency, supporting more than 2,100 jobs.
Nick Herbert said: "West Sussex is known for its great pubs and these are the heart of our villages, but many of them are struggling under the weight of a growing tax burden. Each pub pays nearly £140,000 on average in tax every year, and too many have closed.
“I’m concerned that the business rates revaluation has really clobbered a number of South Downs pubs. The £1,000 business rates relief this year has been a help, but more needs to be done to keep our local pubs afloat.”
1. Photograph: Nick Herbert at the CAMRA event.
2. Representatives of the UK's beer drinkers, pub goers, brewers and publicans supporting the calls for action on beer duty and business rates include the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR).
3. To read the recent West Sussex County Times article (August 2017) Nick wrote on this issue see here.