Richard Benyon MP calls on Chancellor to keep pubs afloat
Newbury MP Richard Benyon has joined with representatives of the UK's beer drinkers, pub goers, brewers and publicans to urge the Chancellor to keep pubs afloat in the Autumn Budget.
Richard Benyon was one of more than 50 MPs to add their voice to the campaign, calling on the Chancellor 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.
Richard said: ‘Pubs are a force for good in Newbury 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 Newbury we have 6 breweries and 109 pubs, supporting more than 2,100 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.
Richard Benyon said: ‘The £1,000 business rates relief introduced this year has been a valuable lifeline for many pubs, and I hope to see the Chancellor go further and show more support for this important industry.’