The Campaign has joined forces with leading brewing trade bodies calling for the Philip Hammond to take decisive action on beer tax, ahead of the Spring Statement on 13 March.

In 2016 the Tory Chancellor surprised people by announcing he was moving the Budget from Spring to Autumn. So instead of the Autumn Statement there’s now a Budget, and instead of the Budget there’s now a Spring Statement.

In a joint release with UKHospitality, the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), CAMRA is calling for action on business rates reform, hospitality VAT and post-Brexit duty.

The group calls on the Government to undertake a comprehensive review of business rates, undertake a consultation on a possible reduced rate of VAT for hospitality and engage with the sector to overhaul the excise duty system to promote the consumption of lower-strength drinks in licensed premises.

CAMRA National Chairman Colin Valentine said: “CAMRA believes that while temporary business rate relief for English pubs has been welcome, a complete overhaul of the system is needed to fix the root issue. As we leave the European Union, we are urging the government to look at how taxation on beer and pubs can be changed to benefit both publicans and beer drinkers.

“Pubs need a fair deal on tax to ensure that they remain competitive with off-trade outlets like supermarkets, which are better placed to absorb the high cost of taxation. We need to act now to help keep the lid on price increases so that more people can afford to visit their local and enjoy all of the personal, social and community-wide benefits of pub-going.”

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “I hope the Government will consider this united call for a review of actions to help our sector. The business rates burden on pubs is particularly acute, paying 2.8 per cent of all business rates while accounting for less than 1 per cent of rateable turnover.

“British beer is also over-taxed, and while the duty freeze in the Autumn Budget was welcome there is still work to be done to protect a great British manufacturing industry. Of every £1 spent in a pub 34p goes to the taxman. We must take action to reduce the cumulative impact on our pubs which are so vital to their local communities.”

SIBA ch8ef executive Mike Benner said: “Nearly every Member of Parliament has at least one independent craft brewer in their patch creating jobs, investment and above all, great beer. Brewers rely on pubs, restaurants and the hospitality sector for a significant part of their business.

“That’s why we need the promised business rates reform from the Conservative Manifesto, action on hospitality VAT and long term thinking about what the duty system might look like post-Brexit. Every MP in the land should be pressing the Chancellor and HM Treasury to take the opportunity to work with us to get this right.”

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