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Letter to Government from 8 Leading groups in drinks industry

Posted on 30th, Oct 2017

A one voice letter has been sent to the Chancellor stating he will put the future of Pubs and thousands of jobs at risk if he does not address disproportionate taxes in the Autumn budget next month.

The letter was signed by 
Kate Nicholls - ALMR
Bridig Simmons -BBPA
Colin Valentine-CAMRA
Mike Clist - BII
Mike Benner - Society of Independent Brewers
John longden- Pub is the Hub
Julian South- Malsters Assoc of Great Britian
Geoff Thompson - British Hop Assoc



Dear Chancellor,

2017 AUTUMN BUDGET: FAIRER TAXES FOR PUB GOERS, PUBS AND BREWERS

Pubs and brewing support 900,000 jobs in towns and communities throughout the UK and contribute £23 billion to the UK economy.

At an uncertain time, with the country divided over many issues, Britain’s pubs are a force for good and have a unique role to play. They are at the centre of Britain’s socio-economic make up, bringing our diverse communities together and enhancing Britain’s reputation abroad. They are among the top three places to visit for tourists coming to the UK.

Brewing is an important British manufacturing sector, the third largest food and drink export from the UK and beer is integral to the Great British Pub. Over 80% of beer consumed in the UK is produced here. A competitive tax environment is essential at this time.

Many pubs are facing huge business rates rises following the 2017 revaluation. The £1,000 pub-specific business rates relief for 2017/18 is very welcome, but the disproportionate rates burden that pubs face continues to grow. Pubs pay five times more in Business Rates than their share of rateable business turnover whilst on-line businesses for example face a much more benign tax environment. Transitional relief helps, but tapers off and with the further planned increases over the coming years, this will be very difficult for many pubs to sustain.

As a property-based, people business whose core product is beer, community pubs are reeling under the weight of sharply rising taxes and regulatory costs. Already, one pound in every three spent in the pub goes to the Exchequer. For Britain’s brewers, up to half their turnover is excise duty - a huge disadvantage compared to our near neighbours at this crucial time.

The 3.9% beer duty increase in March 2017 was a major blow, severely undermining fragile sector confidence and a stark reminder of the duty escalator period. Under the escalator, beer tax increased by an eye-watering 42%, hitting those on lowest incomes the hardest. Further planned beer duty increases will result in thousands of job losses throughout the UK, and put at risk new investment in British brewing and pubs.

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We are therefore urging the Government to

  • extend and increase the pub-specific rates relief beyond this year and set out the timetable for major reform of the system.

  • implement at least a freeze in Beer Duty for the duration of the Parliament

    These measures will create thousands of additional jobs, boost inward investment, tourism and export growth, and ensure a pint in the pub remains an affordable pleasure, bringing together people from all walks of life.

    Further details along with additional supporting evidence and analysis can be found in the submissions made by individual organisations to the Treasury pre-Budget call for evidence.

    We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this further. Yours sincerely, 

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