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Budget 2017 Receives Mixed Response from Licensed & Hospitality Bodies CHANCELLOR PHILIP Hammond’s first budget, which will see a duty rise for beer, cider, wine and spirits has received a mixed response from industry leaders. The budget increases contrast with previous budgets, which saw a freeze or cut in beer duty. In a speech, the Chancellor announced that he would make no change to previously planned up ratings of duties on alcohol, which means that beer, cider, wine and spirits rise in line with inflation. The Chancellor also announced that the government will introduce a new temporary £1,000 discount on business rates bills for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000, recognise “the valuable role that local pubs play in our communities”. Miles Beale Chief Executive of the Wine & Spirit Trade Association said: “It is disappointing that the Chancellor has failed to support a great British industry. He has increased what were already excessive and unfairly high rates of duty for the UK’s wine and spirit consumers and businesses. Between Brexit’s impact on the pound and rising inflation the wine and spirit businesses face a tough trading landscape. This is a missed opportunity to back British business and help out struggling consumers. The added uncertainty of another Budget in 6 months’ time is unwelcome and will further undermine business – and consumer – confidence. At least there is some sign that Philip Hammond cares about levelling the playing field. It is important that he treated all alcohol products equally. It is welcome news that he has introduced a consultation on wine and made wine between 5.5 – 8.5% – a category which holds a great deal of potential for innovation, especially for lower ABV products.” The ALMR welcomed the Government’s Budget Statement and steps to address business rates inequality for pubs and bars and to promote growth and investment across the UK’s businesses. ALMR Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “The Chancellor has stated that he wants to make the UK the most attractive place in the world to do business. Cuts to Corporation Tax will help hardworking and successful businesses continue to grow and invest in their teams, but it must form part of a wider strategy on business tax. “If the Chancellor is serious about encouraging investment then we need to see a detailed blueprint of how it is to be achieved and how this links with the Government’s wider industrial strategy. “It is very encouraging to see the Government acknowledge and back the valuable work being carried out by the UK’s hardworking pubs, bars and restaurants. Sector-specific relief will help those businesses hardest hit by the revaluation. This much-needed Government support will save the sector over £24m and will help safeguard investment and jobs. We are pleased to see the Government acknowledge the issue and act positively to support a crucial growth champion and a sector with turnover of £60bn employing over 1.5 million. The £300m worth of relief made available to local authorities will also be crucial for addressing costs for hardworking, entrepreneurial restaurants also facing increased rates bills. “The next step is for the Government to instigate the long term, root and branch reform that is needed for pubs and bars. The Chancellor indicated that the Government will look at more frequent revaluations, something the ALMR has been pushing for, and we look forward to working with him going forward.” BBPA Chief Executive Brigid Simonds, said: “We very much welcome the specific help for pubs with rate relief; £1,000 off for all pubs with a rateable value less than £100,000. We campaigned very hard for this and it is vital that this is extended in future years.
“We have been very clear with Government that pubs are paying 2.8 per cent of Business Rates, but only generate 0.5 per cent of turnover – an overpayment of £500 million. This very specific acknowledgement that pubs are so important to local communities and are a force for good, is very welcome. “I am also pleased that the Chancellor has also announced a wider review, and has taken up the cause of ensuring the rates burden is shared more fairly, especially when it comes to on-line business. “We will wait to see further details of the funding for local authorities, and we would urge them to make pubs a priority. Pubs play a vital role in their local communities and are a force for good.” “When it comes to beer duty, a return to unpopular beer duty rises, with an extra 2p duty on a pint, is not good news for the British beer industry and in turn pubs. “Business Rates, auto-enrolment of pensions, the national living and minimum wage, and the Apprenticeship Levy were already adding the equivalent of 5.3p in beer duty. “Beer tax has now risen by 43 per cent the past ten years. This latest rise will mean 4,000 fewer jobs this year, mostly in pubs. Tax rises on all alcohol will add £125 million to the cost base of pubs. “Britain’s beer taxes are three times the EU average, and an astonishing thirteen times higher than those of the largest producer, Germany. If we are to compete in the future and as we move towards the challenges of Brexit, action must be taken on tax, to ease the burden on a Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s National Chairman says: “UK beer drinkers, pubs and brewers have been let down by the Chancellor’s decision to increase beer duty for the first time in five years. “The announced two penny a pint increase marks a return to the days when the muchhated Beer Duty Escalator contributed to 75,000 job losses, 3,700 pub closures and a 24% fall in beer sales in pubs. The rise in beer duty will ultimately hit consumers in their pockets and lead to pub closures across the country. “The government’s U-turn on beer duty is a real missed opportunity to support consumers. The UK still pays one of the highest rates of duty across Europe, only consuming around 12% of the beer yet paying nearly 40% of all beer duty in the EU. Further beer duty increases will lead to unsustainable price increases in pubs. The decision completely ignores the pressures that are being faced by the beer and pub sectors.” The Government has recognised the unique role that pubs play in our communities in England by introducing a new temporary £1,000 discount on business rates bills for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000. CAMRA has warmly welcomed this relief and has called for it to be made permanent and increased further in future Budgets. While this discount will provide welcome relief for the majority of pubs, not all will benefit as the relief does not apply to the largest pubs so a minority are still faced with very large business rate increases. Colin Valentine, CAMRA’s National Chairman adds: “We are delighted that the Government has recognised the vital role that pubs play both in our local communities and our economy by introducing a new rate relief specifically for pubs in England. “The announcement of a new rate relief for pubs in England is a ground-breaking step which recognises both the importance of pubs and the unfair impact of the business rate system on pubs. This new relief offers huge assistance to pubs and is a step towards CAMRA’s ambition of securing a £5,000 rate relief reduction for all pubs. “While this is welcome news for most pubs, some of the largest pubs will be excluded from the new relief. For example, the CAMRA award winning Baum pub in Rochdale will be unaffected by this discount. The Baum pub’s rateable value is going up by 376.6%, and the pub will pay an additional £47,327 per year once transitional rate relief ends. “CAMRA is calling on local councils to use the new discretionary fund announced today to support those pubs that will still be hit by massive business rate increases over the coming years.”
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Issue #198 of CLH News - the leading monthly trade publication for the independent hotel, pub and restaurant sector of the hospitality indus...