Responding to the Chancellor’s Budget speech, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of British Beer & Pub Association, said:
“Pub-goers across the UK will be toasting the Chancellor tonight following his decision to freeze beer duty. This early Christmas present will save brewers, pubs and pub-goers £110 million and secure upwards of 3,000 jobs that would have been lost had beer duty gone up.
“Clearly, the Chancellor has listened to the seven in 10 people in the UK who said they’d like to see beer duty cut or frozen in the Budget. Pubs are so important to their local communities and 82% of the beer we drink here is brewed in the UK.
“This is a big step in the right direction and a huge help for pubs across the UK that are struggling. I hope we can continue to build on this success in the future and we will continue to celebrate the vital role that local pubs play in communities and highlight the ongoing pressures they face by supporting the Long Live The Local campaign.
“The Chancellor’s announcement to cut business rates for high street and other small businesses is also great news for a lot of pubs. This will benefit community pubs by £120 million over the next two years, securing the viability of many locals across the country. We would urge the Chancellor to use the announced Digital Services tax to provide further support for all pubs large and small.
“Furthermore, the Chancellor’s decision to announce a review of Small Brewer Relief is most welcome.
“The announcement that the contribution by small businesses for the Apprenticeship Levy will decrease from 10% to 5% is also very good news for pubs. Likewise, so is the increase in investment allowance from £200,000 to £1 million. BBPA members invest over £200 million in their pubs each year.
“These decisions are particularly welcome in light of the additional cost pressures facing pubs, such as increases in the national minimum wage and the previously announced increase in the climate change levy.
“Overall, this has been a great Budget for pubs and pub-goers. Cheers Phil!”