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MPs call for tax cuts to save their local pubs Published Date: 09/02/2020

MPs are calling on the government to reduce the tax burden on pubs and breweries in next month's Budget as reported by the BBC.

According to the BBC, MPs from all sides said the duty put on beer and high business rates for local pubs were causing many to go out of business.

In response, the Government said that alcohol taxes had already been cut in real terms due to a series of beer duty freezes.

Tory MP Mike Wood said the pub and beer industries were "the greatest success stories of the past 20 years" in UK business, with almost 900,000 jobs depending on them.

But he criticised the system of business rates, saying it was a "basic fairness issue" when pubs were responsible for 2.8% of all rate revenues collected - despite only accounting for 0.5% of rate-paying businesses.

Mr Wood also said beer duty in the UK "remains much too high" - despite government freezes and cuts since 2013.

Treasury minister Simon Clarke, responding for the government, praised the "clear consensus" among MPs, about the "the centrality of pubs and beer industry and solutions that exist to make sure we help the industry to thrive".

But, he said a cut in alcohol duties would would represent a significant loss in revenues for the Exchequer.

"The effective inflation means that in real terms, beer duty is being cut every time we have frozen [it] over the course of the last several years," added the minister.

"Even in nominal terms, beer duty is now lower than it was in 2012. But not withstanding that, we continue to review all taxes."

Source: BBC