Express & Star

Dudley MP backs campaign to help pubs and brewers

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi has backed a campaign to support independent brewers and community pubs in the constituency in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget.

Last updated
Marco Longhi

Mr Longhi supported a Parliamentary event this week calling for the Chancellor to increase the Draught Relief to 20 per cent in his Budget speech on March.

The event was organised by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), the Campaign for Real Ale (Camra) and the Independent Family Brewers of Britain (IFBB) and enabled MPs to engage with the views of local brewers and industry specialists to discuss the way that the government taxes beer.

Introduced last year, the Draught Relief allows a lower rate of alcohol duty to apply to beer that is sold in pubs rather than in supermarkets. Currently it is set at 9.2 per cent, but Mr Longhi feels a more substantial 20 per cent relief rate could encourage more people to support their local community pubs by bringing the price of a pint down.

This campaign comes as the sector continues to face intense pressure from energy prices and cost increases, with hundreds of pubs being forced to close last year.

During the Autumn Statement last year the Chancellor decided to freeze beer duty until August 1 which means he is due to make a decision on duty from the summer in his Spring Budget.

Mr Longhi said: “Our independent breweries and local pubs are a key part of the community and I’m proud of the contribution they make to the local economy in Dudley North.

" At a time when the brewing and pub sector is under enormous pressure it is right that the Government considers what it can do to help and increasing Draught Relief to 20 per cent would give it the boost it needs.

"This is why I’m supporting the Make It 20% campaign and calling on the Chancellor to consider increasing the Draught Relief in his Budget in March.”

Tom Stainer, chief executive of Camra, added: “We know pubs are at the heart of communities across Dudley North, bringing people together and helping to tackle loneliness and social isolation.

" Camra members will be delighted Mr Longhi is working to make sure consumers, pubs and local breweries get the support they need to survive and thrive.”