The pub sector is an important part of the Rother Valley's local economy, contributing £22.4 million and supporting over 1,300 jobs. With jobs-based growth and the creation of a responsible drinking culture such major issues; another beer duty rise in the Budget is an extremely concerning prospect, as it will put more pressure on Britain's pub sector.
I have recently signed an Early Day Motion in the House of Commons urging the Government to suspend the beer duty escalator in the forthcoming Budget. Such a move, supported by consumer and industry groups, would help reduce pub closures, create jobs and ensure that pubs maintain their role in our communities.
With landlords currently being squeezed out of business, the Government is also letting down British pubs by refusing to launch a review of the regulation of pub companies and look at bringing in guidelines to protect tenant landlords.
Despite Parliament voting unanimously last month in favour of these measures, in an answer to a recent parliamentary question the Government revealed it would be ignoring the vote, saying “It would not be appropriate, at this stage, to commission an independent review.”
In last month’s debate, MPs from all parties criticised the imbalance in the relationship between pub companies and tenants, which has undoubtedly led to a large number of pubs closing.