Brigid Simmonds warns of tax threat to pubs ahead of Autumn Statement

The head of the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) has urged the government to avoid placing higher tax rates on the pub sector just over a month before the next Autumn Statement.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds (Photo: BBPA)

Brigid Simmonds, the CEO of the association, said that, while UK ministers are still attempting to finalise concrete policies and agreements ahead of the country’s break from the European Union, the Treasury should cut business rates for pubs.

She said that, as the value of the pound has dropped since the referendum vote, more tourists have come to the UK, which has given pubs, particularly those located on high streets, a more prominent place in the country’s economy.

The BBPA said thataroud seven in 10 overseas tourists visit a pub while holidaying the UK.

Simmonds said: “The high street is an important part of any town or city in the UK, but it is struggling. The answers are not only about tax, there are some great examples of best practice from the Great British High Street’s competition, which all point to local leadership, partnerships, understanding your local market and events. There is a pub on every high street, but as an industry they face considerable cost pressures from a range of sources; particularly high beer duty, unfair business rates and VAT.

“In response to this, Britain’s Beer Alliance, backed by microbreweries, regional and national pub chains, global breweries and the British Beer & Pub Association ourselves, have launched the Long Live the Local campaign to call for a cut in beer duty in the upcoming Budget.”

The next Autumn statement will take place in November.

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