The British Beer & Pub Association is lobbying the government ahead of next year’s General Election to provide much-needed relief for the UK’s struggling pubs and breweries. A manifesto has been published outlining demands for politicians such as lowering taxes, introducing policies to promote growth and enabling support for self-regulation.
Putting the pressure on for a further reduction in beer duty, following the success of tax cuts in 2012 and 2013, is a top priority for the BBPA. A lower rate of VAT on pub and restaurant meals and reduced business rates are also being called for – in order to ease the tax burden on UK pubs, which is deemed to be disproportionately high compared with most European neighbours.
Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, said: “With the General election just months away, our focus is on persuading politicians that with the right policies, we can have a thriving beer and pub sector serving local communities, and with investment and employment growth.
“Our manifesto will help us to make a clear and strong case on all these issues, with a further duty cut in the Budget in March 2015 our immediate priority.”
Regulation burden on pubs must also be reduced
Besides calling for a reduction in taxation on British pubs, another element the BBPA campaign is focusing in on is over-regulation and there being too much ‘red tape’.
Recommendations for improving the situation include placing a freeze on any new licensing regulation and encouraging self-regulation through supporting local community organisations such as Pubwatch and Business Improvement Districts.
Creating initiatives inspiring entrepreneurs to introduce new identities for pubs within their communities, such as using them as central Wi-Fi hubs for example, is another suggestion for stimulating the industry.