Fifty Conservative MPs have signed a letter calling on Philip Hammond to cut beer duty and scrap inflationary increases in this month’s autumn Budget announcement.
Nigel Evans, MP for the Ribble Valley, delivered the letter to the Treasury and spoke about how vital the beer industry is to the British economy.
He said: “It is absolutely vital that the Chancellor takes the contents of this letter into account during next week’s budget, and I am pleased to have gained the support of such a vast amount of my Conservative colleagues.
“Every month, more than 30 million people visit pubs across the UK, they act as places for people to come together and as social hubs for people from all walks of life. Pubs do not just benefit customers though. The pub trade supports more than 900,000 jobs nationwide, and contributes more than £23 billion to the UK economy. In my constituency alone, pubs contribute £3.1 million in corporation tax.”
The drinks industry has been barraging the Chancellor with pleas for respite when he announces the Budget on November 22. However, 50 MPs from his own party could well carry far greater weight.
Since 2013 the beer category has benefited from duty cuts and freezes, but a new policy that raises duty in line with RPI will soon reverse these cuts and damage the British beer industry.
Evans said: “The policy of cuts and freezes from 2013 managed somewhat to stabilise pub closures, if a similar move is taken in this Autumn budget, we would have much to be thankful to the Chancellor for – he would instantaneously become a hero of the pub trade.”
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, added: “It is great to see 50 Conservative MPs calling on the Chancellor to back British brewing and pubs in the Budget next week. The campaign to cut beer tax has really gathered pace in recent weeks.
“Nigel Evans has long been a friend of our sector and he is to be commended for taking the initiative in rallying his colleagues to the beer and pub cause. I hope the Chancellor will listen to the advice of his colleagues on the backbenches and take action to help our great British brewing industry.
The list of MPs supporting the bid is as follows: