The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has written to the new chancellor and his Treasury team to call on them to slash tax on beer sold in pubs.
With a new chancellor of the Exchequer, chief secretary to the Treasury and Exchequer secretary to the Treasury appointed in the recent government reshuffle, CAMRA said it is “ramping up pressure” on the government to support its “radical proposals to save pubs from extinction”.
CAMRA said by introducing a preferential rate of tax for draught beer, which is beer served on tap, the government can “target support at pubs” – where seven out of 10 drinks sold are beer.
The group is also calling for a full review of the business rates system. It said the pub sector currently “overpays” in business rates by £500m a year, and rising rates are forcing “hard working publicans to push up prices for consumers or close their doors forever”.
CAMRA chairman, Nik Antona said: “The upcoming Budget is the perfect opportunity for the Chancellor to take radical action to support pubs, by reforming beer duty and business rates.
“While we welcome previous actions to stem pub closures, too many pubs are still fighting for their survival. We need wider reform to ensure a bright future for pubs.”
He added: “By introducing a preferential rate of tax for draught beer to reduce the cost of beer served on tap in pubs, and announcing a full review of business rates, the government will show it is committed to saving a great British institution from extinction.”