OPINION - Talking Point: Should the Government do more to help pubs?

(Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)
(Yui Mok/PA) (PA Archive)

Tax on beer bought in pubs will be 11p lower than that purchased in supermarkets, the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, announced during his Spring Budget.

This is possible by the government increasing the value of Draught Relief from 5%, that was due to come in from August, to 9.2%.

Founder and chairman of Wetherspoons, Tim Martin has welcomed has the move, although has cautioned that more help is still needed to close the tax gap between pubs and supermarkets.

He said: “Any reduction in the tax disparity between pubs and supermarkets is welcome. We have been campaigning for tax equality for a long time. This gesture by the government is a tacit acknowledgement that something needs to be done.”

Mr Martin added: “We will investigate how much of the tax disparity remains after this move. We retain our view that anything less than equality is an unsustainable distortion and is economically counterproductive.”

Similarly, CEO of Greene King, Nick Mackenzie voiced both optimism and concern over the Chancellor’s announcement. He said: “We are pleased to see that the Chancellor has listened to the pub industry and increased the relief on draught beer, an important step to support the Great British Pub.

“However, the devil is in the detail, and we are concerned that the extended draught relief will still not mitigate the challenging headwinds UK pubs face.”

Pubs across the capital have had to grapple with increased rents and rising energy costs that have pushed the average price of a pint up to almost £7.

Do you think the Government should do more to help pubs? Let us know in the comments for your chance to be featured on the ES website.

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