Burnley MP urges Chancellor not to punish pubs in Budget

Burnley MP Julie Cooper with CAMRA representatives
Burnley MP Julie Cooper with CAMRA representatives

Burnley MP Julie Cooper has urged the Chancellor not to pump even more money out of the ailing pub industry in the Autumn Budget.

Mrs Cooper was one of over 50 MPs to add their voice to the campaign, calling on the Chancellor Philip Hammond to give serious consideration to introducing an annual £5,000 business rate relief for pubs in England as well as a freeze in beer duty for the rest of this Parliament.

The Labour MP said: “Pubs are a force for good in Burnley and across the UK. Pubs are at the heart of our communities and the local economy, but they are struggling under the weight of a growing tax burden, with each paying nearly £140,000 on average in tax every year.

“In Burnley we have five breweries, 88 pubs and the industry supports more than 1,120 jobs. These establishments need all the help they can get, which is why I’m asking the Chancellor to do whatever he can to support them in the Autumn budget.”

Reviews of business rates across England mean many pubs are being hit with a massive new financial burden, which in some cases could only be covered by them selling thousands of extra pints of beer every year.

The Government introduced a welcome one-off £1,000 discount scheme for some pubs in the latest Budget, but more action is needed to keep pubs afloat.

Taxes now make up a third of the cost of a pint, and UK beer duty is among the highest in Europe. Recent research carried out by YouGov for CAMRA found that 55% of people who expressed an opinion believe beer duty is too high at 54p per pint.