CAMRA chairman’s Autumn Statement message

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CAMRA chairman’s Autumn Statement message

Last week the chancellor delivered the Autumn Statement, and it was mixed news for pub-goers and the licensed trade.

Against a backdrop of rising prices and the cost-of-living crisis, thousands of CAMRA members lobbied MPs and government to:

– give pubs and breweries help and certainty with business rates and energy bills

– cut tax on draught beer and cider served in pubs, social clubs and taprooms

– cut red tape so that all pubs and festivals can sell take-home draught beer and cider.

Our collective efforts to keep pubs and pub-goers on the political agenda clearly worked, with the chancellor speaking about the importance of great pubs and pints to local communities as he delivered his statement.

Beer and cider tax

The big announcement yesterday was a freeze in all alcohol duties across the board until August 2024.

While this alcohol tax freeze is welcome, we believe it is a missed opportunity.

We will continue to argue that duty cuts should be targeted on draught beer and cider served in pubs, social clubs and taprooms to encourage pub-going and help licensees compete with the likes of supermarket alcohol.

Business rates

We asked the chancellor to extend help with business rates for pubs – and he did!

The 75 per cent discount on business rates bills for hospitality businesses has been extended until April 2025.

This is welcome certainty for beer and pub businesses which are facing rocketing costs and energy bills, but the chancellor acknowledged in his statement that temporary fixes like this cannot go on forever.

We will keep up the pressure for fundamental reform of the business rates system which unfairly penalises pubs.

Take-home pints

Sadly, there was no announcement on axing the red tape which bans most pubs selling take-home beer and cider from draught-duty paid containers, which had been a lifeline for many businesses, particularly in rural communities. We will continue to work with the Treasury to reach an agreement which allows for take-home draught beer and cider.

You can read our official reaction here: Business Rates help to protect pubs welcome – but duty freeze ‘missed opportunity’: CAMRA - CAMRA - Campaign for Real Ale 

What's next? 

We’ll continue to work to convince the Treasury to prioritise cutting tax on pints served in pubs when alcohol duty rates are reviewed ahead of the Budget in Spring 2024. 

In the wake of the Crooked House scandal, we are lobbying for better protections in the planning system for pubs to stop them being illegally converted or demolished and for them to be rebuilt brick by brick if necessary. 

And we are pushing for improvements to the Pubs Code for England and Wales to increase choice at the bar for consumers and to offer better protections for tied pub tenants. 

Finally, I wanted to say thank you. Your CAMRA membership helps us to be a strong voice for consumers, pubs and breweries day-in, day-out. 

Our Campaigns team works with branches and members to lobby government and politicians at all levels for a fair deal for consumers, pubs, social clubs, breweries and cider producers – you can find out more about our recent campaigning activity on What’s Brewing here: Campaign - What's Brewing ( 

Nik Antona

CAMRA national chairman

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