The British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has today responded to the Queen’s Speech in Parliament.
Commenting on the Queen’s Speech, BBPA Chief Executive, Emma McClarkin said:
“Pubs are the heart of our communities, so the commitment in the Queen’s Speech to a change in the business rates system is welcome. Three pubs a day close their doors for good due to the tax pressures they face. It is right that the Government is addressing the issue of business rates since pubs pay 2.8% of the total rates bill despite accounting for just 0.5% of turnover. Reducing rates for pubs is an important step in the right direction. Such reliefs are vital until the fundamentally unfair system is completely overhauled.
“However, with 7 out of 10 drinks sold in a pub being beer, it remains the case that a freeze or cut in beer tax at the next budget is the most direct way of helping pubs stay viable, so we hope that the commitment to a review of alcohol duties encompasses this. It would also show that the Prime Minister is listening to the 230,000 supporters of the Long Live the Local campaign, which calls on the next government to cut beer tax to support local pubs and the communities they serve. It is imperative the new government recognises the strength of feeling on the matter.
“We await the detail on the proposed points-based immigration system but pubs are facing a serious skills shortage and clearly need access to talent from abroad. It is vital then that any post-Brexit, points-based immigration system recognises this, which is why BBPA will continue to be the leading advocate of the need for such access to talent for our sector.”