The Conservative party has committed to review alcohol duty, review business rates and extended the relief to pubs, and introduce a deposit return scheme to incentivise people to recycle plastic and glass.

SIBA chief executive, James Calder, said: “It is vital that the Conservative party’s proposed review of alcohol duty does not negatively impact the nation’s small independent brewers — one of the UK’s most important manufacturing industries.

“The review must not lead to placing equivalence on every category of alcohol on the table, nor undo the benefits that small breweries’ relief has brought to our British beer industry.

“It is welcome that the Conservatives recognise the contribution pubs make in our communities and have promised to extend business rate relief to pubs.

“While breweries want to do their bit for the environment, any deposit return scheme needs to be well designed and work across the country.”

‘Community pubs need investment and support’

A spokesperson for the British Beer and Pub Association, said: “Pubs are the heart of our communities, so the commitment to ease their tax burden is welcome. Three pubs a day close their doors for good due to the tax pressures they face.

“On business rates, pubs pay 2.8% of the total rates bill, despite accounting for just 0.5% of turnover. Reducing rates for pubs is an important step in the right direction. Such reliefs are vital until the fundamentally unfair system is overhauled.

“When it comes to community pubs, what is needed is investment and support. It is important that measures to bolster the rights of individual communities to purchase pubs do not act as a disincentive to invest in or operate a pub business.

“The commitment to review alcohol duty to support British drink producers is very welcome. Beer tax is a particular burden for pubs where seven out of ten alcoholic drinks sold are beer, a lower-strength British-made product. Particularly as we pay 11 times more beer duty than both Spain and Germany.

“A freeze or cut in beer tax at the next budget is the most direct way of helping pubs stay viable. It would also show that Boris Johnson is listening to the 220,000 supporters of the Long Live the Local campaign, calling on the next government to cut beer tax to support local pubs and the communities they serve.

“With a further 109,000 people also writing to their MP, calling on them to support pubs by cutting beer tax, it is imperative the next government recognises the strength of feeling on the matter.”

CAMRA chief executive, Tom Stainer, said: “It’s great to see that the Conservative manifesto has bold commitments to reviewing business rates and alcohol duty, as well as added business rate relief for pubs.

“Various taxes now make up a third of the cost of a pint served in a pub. The review of alcohol duty needs to look at measures to support consumption of alcohol in a community, supervised setting, which is why we have been calling for the next government to introduce a lower rate of duty for beer served in pubs.

“CAMRA members will continue to engage with all candidates in this election, and encourage them to sign up to our Pledge for Pubs.”

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