UPDATE: 19th December 2022
I am pleased to see the Treasury announce today that UK alcohol duty rates have been frozen for a further six months, to 1 August 2023.
James Cartlidge, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, said the following:
"As you may be aware, new alcohol duty rates typically come in each year on 1 February. However, this year the duty rates decision will be held until the Chancellor sets out his Spring Budget on 15 March 2023. If any changes to duty are announced then, they will not take effect until 1 August 2023."
UPDATE: 12th April 2021
Earlier this year I wrote to Paul Scully MP, the Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets to highlight CAMRA's Long Live the Local campaign and the concerns of constituents.
Please find below my letter to Paul Scully MP and his response on behalf of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
UPDATE: 15th March 2021
It is of no surprise that I continue to receive a large amount of correspondence regarding support for our local hospitality sector highlighting the Long Live the Local campaign. I agree with you that local pubs are essential to our economy, and for our communities for social interaction, especially given the difficult past two years.
Nonetheless, I do not underestimate the difficulties our local hospitality sector have experienced and may continue for time to come, with hospitality and leisure sectors being some of the hardest hit by the pandemic.
My work in Westminster
I have repeatedly raised with Ministers at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, and the Treasury, both publicly and privately, the need for sector specific support and have even invited the Prime Minister for a pint in Bosworth. I have also met with a local representative of a national pub and hospitality retailer and was happy to hear of their strong post-pandemic recovery, with one of their thriving pubs right here in Bosworth. As well as the local Chair of CAMRA, strong advocates and representatives for beer drinkers and pub-goers across the UK.
When I am out and about in Bosworth, I am pleased to see our local economy bouncing back after the pandemic with our local pubs and hospitality providing a valuable contribution to our area. However, from my ongoing discussions with local hospitality representatives, it is becoming evident that people are choosing to buy from the supermarket instead of going to their local pub or restaurant. It is of no surprise that consumer confidence in venturing into the public has decreased from the pandemic, and this will take some time to build back.
To that end, I have written to Ministers again regarding the Long Live the Local campaign, and have raised a number of Parliamentary questions:
- To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to work with industry representatives to tackle labour shortages in the hospitality sector. You can read the full Ministerial response here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/202…
- To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what steps he is taking to encourage (a) careers in hospitality and (b) career development pathways in the hospitality sector. You can read the full Ministerial response here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/202…
- To ask the Secretary of State for International Trade, what steps she is taking to (a) profile and (b) promote the UK hospitality sector as part of Government initiatives to encourage international trade such as the GREAT campaign. You can read the full Ministerial response here: https://questions-statements.parliament.uk/written-questions/detail/202…
Government work in this area
I also believe it is important to highlight the welcomed announcements in the Autumn Budget 2021, after I raised constituent concerns for the hospitality sector with Ministers;
- Duty rates on beer, cider, wine and spirits will be frozen for another year, saving consumers £3 billion over the next five years. In essence duty rates on draught beer and cider will be cut by 5 per cent, taking 3p off a pint and further supporting pubs.
- Following a review, the alcohol duty regime is to undergo a major simplification, the old system was outdated system that set rates based on historical anomalies, and a new regime will be fairer to both consumers and producers, and promote product innovation in response to evolving consumer tastes - simplifying and reducing the number of main rates from 15 to 6, and tax products in proportion to their alcohol content.
- I welcome that the 28 per cent higher duty rate on sparkling wine will be abolished, and that from 2023 sparkling and still wines of the same strength will pay the same duty.
- Registration and payment will also be simplified, and the practice where individual products have different administrative rules will end.
- I welcome the introduction of a new small producer relief which will build on the previous success of the Small Brewers Relief, which will benefit cidermakers and other producers of lower ABV drinks. This will allow small producers to diversify their product range to other products below 8.5 per cent ABV while still benefitting from reduced rates.
- Cutting business rates by at least 50 per cent next year for 90 per cent of retail, hospitality and leisure businesses – and freezing all rates. Taken together with Small Business Rates Relief, that’s a business tax cut worth £7 billion for over 700,000 eligible businesses – the biggest business rates tax cut in 30 years.
I hope the above provides some reassurance that I appreciate the valuable contribution our local hospitality sector brings to our area and I will continue to champion the needs of Bosworth.