In 2013, the Government took the decision to end the beer duty escalator, and beer duty has been frozen or cut several times since then. Duty on spirits has been frozen over the past two years. As a result of these changes, a typical pint is cheaper than it would have been had these measures not been introduced.
I welcome the announcement that for only the second time in 20 years every alcohol duty has been frozen, meaning that duty on spirits, beer, wine, and cider will be frozen.
I want to see the Government continue to support pubs and keep costs down for consumers. Any decision to modify alcohol duty in the future is a matter for the Treasury. I have ensured my colleagues are aware of the points you raise and reminded them of the importance of local pubs in our communities.
Coronavirus: I have been in regular contact with Ministers regarding support for pubs and pushing for greater clarity and guidance the industry moves towards reopening.
I welcome the new measures put in place to help businesses across the country, particularly pubs. It is reassuring that no pub or other business in the hospitality sector will be required to pay business rates this year. Local authorities will apply the rates relief automatically and no action is required by pub rate payers.
Allowing pubs to operate as a hot food takeaway during this time provides greater flexibility to their service and helps people avoid unncessary social contact.
As pubs play a huge role in British society, I will continue to support the measures introduced to relieve the financial burden they are facing at this time and to seek clarity about when they can reopen.