CHANCELLOR Rishi Sunak has been urged to cut the VAT rate to 5% and reduce beer duty by 25% in order to help the country’s pubs and brewers recover from the COVID-19 shutdown.
Ahead of Sunak’s fiscal statement tomorrow (July 8), the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has said cuts to both VAT and duty would help pubs and brewers “begin their long and slow road to recovery”.
The BBPA said that cutting the VAT rate on food, drink and accommodation in the hospitality sector to 5% would “boost pubs and the brewers that supply them, and signal to consumers that the sector is open for business”.
And cutting beer duty by a quarter would “signify a vote of confidence in a major domestic industry”, according to the BBPA.
The association has also argued for a cut in business rates, though in Scotland this is a power devolved to the Scottish Government.
“The measures we have put forward are bold, but they are key to the future of communities across the UK and important British businesses,” said BBPA chief executive, Emma McClarkin.
“They are an investment for the future, not a cost.
“Cutting VAT, beer duty and business rates would secure some 350,000 jobs. As a sector, 43% of those employed in our pubs are under 25 years old. So these jobs we’d save would ensure the life chances of our youngest are not permanently disadvantaged as a result of COVID-19.”