CAMRA says duty cuts & business rate reforms needed to save pubs

CAMRA's Chairman has commented on the announcement by the Treasury that hospitality businesses will continue to receive support with their energy bills for a further 12 months from 1 April but at a lower rate.

Nik Antona said, “The prospect of energy bills soaring in April as other costs keep rising and consumers tighten their belts will leave the nation's pubs, social clubs, brewers and cider producers apprehensive about how they can continue to make ends meet.

“While we want to see energy support reinstated at current levels, it is now vital that the Chancellor uses his Budget in March to announce a wider support package if our pubs are to survive and thrive.

'This must include proper reforms to fix the unfair burden of business rates and introducing the new lower rate of duty charged on draught beer and cider at 20% below the general duty rate.

'This would help keep pub-going affordable for customers and give our locals a fighting chance against the likes of cheaper supermarket alcohol.”