Even before the lockdown, pubs across the UK were struggling to stay open, not least because the UK has one of the highest beer duties in Europe. However, the pandemic, and the related restrictions, have had a crippling effect on pubs and their chances of survival.
Last year, I repeatedly wrote to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, to ask for additional support for pubs and the brewery sector to help them cope with the restrictions. Unfortunately, the support provided was not enough for many pubs, which either went out of business or are racking-up debts that they hope they will be able to pay-off one day. The pubs that have survived are still facing an uphill recovery and clearly need support from the Government.
One measures that would help keep pubs afloat during and after the coronavirus crisis is cutting beer duty. I have raised this issue with successive Chancellors, but none have so far made any meaningful cuts to beer duty.
Ahead of the March Budget, I have written to Rishi Sunak and asked him to consider cutting beer duty. I have posted a copy of this letter below for you to see.
I can assure you that I will continue to raise the plight of pubs with the Government.