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BBPA welcomes measures to help pubs in Spring Statement

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has welcomed measures to help pubs announced in the Chancellor’s Spring Statement.

The Chancellor made the following announcements:
• Following a consultation last year business rates revaluations would be brought forward from 2022 to 2021, consequently bringing forward the following revaluation to 2024.
• The Chancellor also announced a call for evidence on the impact of VAT and APD rates on the hospitality sector in Northern Ireland.
• Increased funding for apprenticeships for small businesses.
• A consultation on reducing the use of plastics, including using tax incentives.

Following the Chancellor’s Statement, Brigid Simmonds, Chief Executive of the BBPA, said, “As the leading voice for UK pubs the BBPA has for some time been calling for a business rates system that allows for more frequent revaluations. This will mean that what amounts to a very burdensome tax on pubs better reflects the realities of their trading environment.

'As a sector we need to work with the Government to reduce the current unfairness in assessments which penalise pubs. Revising the criteria for pub valuation will be vital to the success of more frequent revaluations.

“A call for evidence on the impact of VAT on the hospitality and tourism sector in Northern Ireland is to be welcomed, as pubs are hugely important for the Ulster economy. I hope the Chancellor will consider extending this review to the UK as a whole, given that a third of the price of a pint in a pub goes to the taxman. The BBPA will work with Hospitality Ulster to ensure the economic work we have already undertaken on food and accommodation VAT makes a useful contribution to this study.'

Simmonds continued, “The additional £80 million support announced for small businesses to access apprenticeships will be welcomed by pubs, but there is still a need to review the use of the Apprenticeship Levy in the supply chain.

“The Chancellor’s decision to freeze tax on beer in the Autumn Budget is helping the Chancellor to meet his inflation target, but there is more that can be done. I hope the Chancellor will look to continue to bear down on beer tax levels to help our pubs when we come to the Autumn Budget.”