Beer bosses plead with Chancellor to cut alcohol duty in Spring Budget


Pubs at risk of closure

Hundreds of beer bosses representing well-known brands such as Asahi, Budweiser, and Greene King have written a letter to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, urging him to reduce alcohol duty by five per cent. They warn that without a decrease in rates, hundreds of pubs could go out of business.

Save our Sups campaign

HOAR has relaunched its Save our Sups campaign, which aims to extend the 75 per cent reduction in business rates for pubs, clubs, and hotels beyond August. The campaign also calls for the Chancellor not to increase alcohol duty, in order to prevent the already struggling sector from raising prices.

Potential job creation

According to bar and brewery chiefs, a five per cent cut in alcohol duty could unlock 13,000 jobs. They also hope to avoid a repeat of 2023 when over 600 pubs closed due to high bills, red tape, and levies.

Integral economic and cultural asset

The beer bosses state in their letter, "No government should turn a blind eye to the erosion of such an integral economic and cultural asset." They believe that supporting the beer and pub sector will contribute to wider growth and prosperity for local high streets and the national economy.

Support from MPs

Tory MP Greg Smith supports the campaign, stating that the beer and pub sector delivers economic and social value to local communities but is heavily taxed. He urges the Chancellor to address this imbalance by cutting beer duty and capping business rates. Conservative MP Alun Cairns, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on beer, adds that a cut to beer duty in the Spring Budget can drive economic growth and job creation.

Government response

A Treasury spokesperson reassured that eligible pubs will continue to receive a 75 per cent reduction in their business rates bills from April. They also mentioned the six-month alcohol duty freeze and the Brexit Pubs Guarantee commitment to keeping duty on draught drinks lower than in shops.

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