Chancellor urged to cut beer duty to protect pubs from closure

By Alan Jones, PA Industrial Correspondent

A campaign for a cut in beer duty is being stepped up amid fresh warnings of pub closures.

A protest was held outside Parliament backed by the Long Live The Local campaign group, which complained that pubs were overtaxed.

Spokesman David Cunningham said: “Pubs employ almost 600,000 people, and on average a pub contributes over £100,000 to its local economy.

“Despite this, pubs are overtaxed, with each pub paying an average of £140,000 every year through a range of taxes, one of which is beer duty.

Pub owner and Bake Off winner Candice Brown joined the beer tax protest (Matt Crossick/PA)

“Beer duty in the UK is 11 times higher than in Germany and Spain, which is why we’re asking for a modest cut to save thousands of jobs and help protect the future of local pubs”.

The group said British beer drinkers have paid as much in duty as those in Germany will pay all year, despite the fact that German drinkers consume nearly double the amount annually.

Pub owner and Great British Bake Off winner Candice Brown joined the protest. She was “trapped” under a giant pint glass said to represent the financial pressure local pubs are facing.

She said: “Pubs are the beating heart of cities, towns and villages up and down Britain – they not only provide jobs but a place where everyone and anyone can meet and socialise. If the Chancellor does not act now, he is set to damage not only businesses but communities as well.”

The new Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is being urged to cut beer duty in next month’s Budget, with the campaign group warning that taxes are putting local pubs at risk of closure.