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Gloucestershire Business News

Pubs issue wish list for Chancellor

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has been urged to cut VAT, business rates and duty for brewers and pub businesses when he outlines his plans for the post-coronavirus economic recovery tomorrow.

The British Beer & Pub Association said its members, who have begun to reopen their doors after more than three months, can help drive the economic recovery.

But the trade body said the industry needed support to get back on its feet and outlined three steps it feels the Chancellor can make in a stimulus package.

  • Cut VAT to five per cent on food, drink and accommodation in the hospitality sector.
  • Extended business rates relief.
  • Cut beer duty by 25 per cent.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: "COVID-19 has hit our sector especially hard, but our brewers and pubs have a key role to play in getting the economy back on its feet and, crucially, boosting the nation's morale.

"Our pubs and breweries want to play a leading role in the recovery.

"But we can only do that if we have the right help from the Government, especially as pub trading levels have started very low and will remain unsustainable for a long time until consumer confidence fully returns."

She continued: "In addition, our pubs and brewers face a range of punitively high taxes with currently £1 in every £3 spent in a pub going straight to the taxman.

"The measures we have put forward are bold, but they are key to the future of communities across the UK and important British businesses. They are an investment for the future, not a cost."

She said the measures would help to secure 350,000 jobs with 43 per cent of those employed in pubs under 25.

"Pubs are inclusive and public spaces - they help bring people together from all walks of life," she said.

"They are the backbone of our high streets and at the heart of our domestic and international tourism sector."

She continued: "To lose our pubs would not just be an economic or jobs disaster, it would also be the end of many communities.

"We want to use our heritage to restore a sense of national unity and belonging by ensuring pubs remain at the heart of every town, city, rural and coastal community."

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