Ahead of the Queen’s Speech expected to take place next week, the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) is calling on the Government to deliver on its Manifesto commitment to review the business rates system and relieve the burden on the pub sector.
CAMRA is very concerned that pubs are facing a punitive tax burden, which sees the average pub pay £140,000 a year in direct taxes, or 34p in every £1 taken in the till. The Campaign is therefore calling on the Government to make the Pubs Relief Scheme permanent and to extend it to £5,000 per pub per year.
These calls come in light of 130 MPs – making up a significant 20% of the House of Commons – pledging before last week’s general election to celebrate and promote Britain’s breweries, support action to help pubs thrive and represent the interests of pub-goers, beer and cider drinkers.
Support for CAMRA’s #pledgeforpubs campaign has crossed party lines, with 69 Labour and 46 Conservative MPs pledging their support before the election, along with a statement of support from the former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron.
CAMRA is also calling on the Government to keep the brewing and pubs sector front and centre in the Brexit negotiations and to freeze beer duty for the duration of the next Parliament.
Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s National Chairman says: “Pubs are a force for good in local communities. Not only do they support the economy and provide employment, but they also bring communities together, help raise money for charities and are a major attraction for visitors from around the world. Despite this, pubs continue to face a huge tax bill which has recently been made even worse through increases to beer duty and business rates.
“Ultimately, it is the consumer who will pay the price as publicans are forced to put up prices, which could lead to a number of pub closures in a time of austerity and uncertainty. This is why we are calling on the Government to adhere to its Manifesto commitment to review the business rates system.
With one in five MPs promising to back the brewing and pubs trade, we hope those elected will come together to become a powerful voice for pub-goers and beer drinkers in this Parliament.”