SBPA respond to MUP decision

BrigidHeroCommenting on the decision by the UK Supreme Court on Minimum Unit Pricing (MUP), SBPA CEO Brigid Simmonds OBE said:

“The industry in Scotland has seen a number of regulative changes over the last decade and once again, we will now see another which will have a significant impact on how businesses operate. It is good to see that the Scottish Government intend a five year implementation period, with a review and unless action is taken to extend the policy, a Sunset clause comes into place in year six.

“The SBPA has always been concerned about imposing conditions which penalise responsible drinkers and there is no denying that this ruling will cause uncertainty, but what is important now, is that industry is given a break from any further blanket-regulations. This will also allow MUP to be properly assessed as a policy to reduce alcohol-related harm.

“The SBPA strongly supports policies and initiatives targeted at the minority of those who misuse alcohol and view this as the best way to reduce alcohol harm, without penalising responsible drinkers. We have been very active, with the removal of 1 billion units of alcohol from the UK market as well as raising unit awareness, providing consistent labelling and promoting lower strength products.

“In tackling alcohol related harm, it is education and awareness, through support for Drinkaware and other awareness programmes, alongside partnership working, between industry, local communities, police and the public health authorities that delivers the most effective results.”

SBPA welcomes Barclay review but calls for further action

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The Scottish Beer & Pub Association (SBPA), has responded to the conclusion of the Barclay Review into business rates saying the proposals do not go far enough and greater support for the pub industry is still needed.

The SBPA also revealed their analysis showing some astounding increases to the average rates bill over the next five years.

Commenting, SBPA President Brian Davidson said:

“The SBPA welcomes the conclusion of the Barclay review and its proposals which should improve the situation, however it still falls short of the reforms needed by our nation’s pubs.

“The introduction of a Business Growth Accelerator, expansion of the Fresh Start scheme, reduction of the Large Business Supplement and a review of the Small Business Scheme are all steps in the right direction and we would urge the Scottish Government to move forward as quickly as possible.

“However, there remains a need for a new approach for Scotland’s licensed premises which already suffer from a hugely unfair tax burden. While the 12.5% cap for the hospitality sector and the North East has shielded our sector this year, pub operators remain uncertain of what their bills will be moving forward and only have until the end of September to appeal.

“Furthermore, SBPA analysis of the 2017 revaluation shows that for many pubs, business rates remain a ticking time bomb with bills in the Lothians’ due to increase by 50.8%, 59.2% in Central Scotland and a massive 64.3% in Orkney and Shetland.

“These increases will be unsustainable for many pubs and underlines the need for more reform, particularly on how the hospitality sector is evaluated. We would urge the Scottish Government to move forward as quickly as possible and look at further support for our industry.”

SBPA comments on Labour support for Bibby Bill

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Commenting on Scottish Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale’s support for Neil Bibby’s members bill, Brigid Simmonds Chief Executive of the Scottish Beer & Pub Association, said:

“We welcome Mr Bibby’s interest in the industry but this bill would actually do the opposite of what he is setting-out to achieve.

“The pub market in Scotland is completely different to other parts of the UK, with only 17% of pubs under a tied arrangement here, compared to 40% in the UK as a whole. It simply doesn’t work to compare like-for-like in this case. Furthermore, we have already put in place a system of self-regulation in Scotland which safeguards tenants.

“Second, tied-pubs offer greater choice of beers than pubs free-of-tie; while tied-pubs average ten draught lines, free-of-tie pubs only offer eight and tied-pubs offer double the amount of cask ale.

“Finally, the tied-pub models offers unrivaled entrepreneurship opportunities, jobs and investment. In the last two years alone £20 million has been spent by pub companies and brewers investing in pubs in Scotland.

“If successful, this bill will hurt small business owners, offer fewer choices for consumers and ultimately cost jobs.

“We would therefore urge Scottish Labour to rethink their support for these ill-conceived plans and instead pressure the government into meaningful action to support Scotland’s pubs.”

Brian Davidson appointed Scottish Beer & Pub President, succeeds Mark Baird

The Scottish Beer & Pub Association has appointed Punch Taverns’ Brian Davidson as its new President, succeeding Diageo’s Mark Baird, who steps down after a year in the role.

Brigid Simmonds, SBPA Chief Executive, comments:

“I am delighted to welcome Brian to the role of President of the SBPA.

“Through his role as Punch Taverns’ Operations Director for Scotland, Brian brings a wealth of experience in the Scottish pub trade to his new role as President of the SBPA, which I am sure will benefit the Association greatly, and I look forward to working with him.

“I would also like to thank Mark Baird for all his work as President of the SBPA for the last year, and for his many years of support whilst at Diageo, particularly around social responsibility initiatives. He will be very much missed.”

New SBPA President, Brian Davidson, adds:

“I am hugely honoured to be taking on the role of SBPA President. The Scottish beer and pub industry supports almost 60,000 jobs, and contributes over £1.7 billion to the economy of Scotland every year. As President, I will continue Mark’s work to ensure the Scottish beer and pub industry’s priorities remain at the top of the policy agenda here in Scotland.

“I’d like to thank Mark Baird for his contribution over the past year, and hope to build on his good work.” Outgoing SBPA President Mark Baird comments: “I would like to wish Brian all the best in his new role as President, and offer my congratulations. We all very much look forward to working with him as our new SBPA President.”

Outgoing SBPA President Mark Baird comments: “I would like to wish Brian all the best in his new role as President, and offer my congratulations. We all very much look forward to working with him as our new SBPA President.”