‘Use the Budget to protect local jobs’, demands Tony Lloyd

Rochdale MP, Tony Lloyd, is demanding the Government lowers VAT and business rates for the hospitality sector, including cafés, restaurants and bars, and for an overall reduction in Beer Duty.

Tony said, “Ahead of this week’s Budget Spending Review, I’m demanding the Chancellor gives an immediate boost to the hospitality sector to ensure it fully recovers and helps to grow the economy.

“The Government must recognise the importance and fragility of this sector, particularly in Rochdale where we have seen the closure of pubs.

“Closure of pubs means, of course, the loss of employment. The sector supports 939 jobs in Rochdale and contributes £28m to the local economy, and these venues are a social hub for many across the piece.

“Recent studies revealed that a 30% relief in business rates would mitigate the risk of business failure for 20,000 businesses in the hospitality sector, protecting 200,000 jobs by more than halving the net income loss that would result if Business Rates returned to full levels next year.

“Pub goers are also overtaxed, and this is hampering the recovery of our cherished locals. £1 in every £3 pounds spent in UK pubs goes to the taxman. A permanent lower level VAT rate of 12.5% for food and drink sold would generate a positive net economic return as well as create over 100,000 jobs. Extending this to all drinks would create another 60,000 jobs.

“The Treasury should also significantly cut Beer Duty, a tax that is extraordinarily high compared to other nations, and a cut called for by a large number of my constituents on a weekly basis.

“These changes will significantly help Rochdale businesses and our communities recover post-Covid.”

Ben Boothman, MD of the Lancashire Hospitality Co-op, said, “This budget comes at a crucial time for our industry as we as many others, remain cautious about the upcoming Christmas period and beyond with the threat of the return of restrictions looming in the media.

“We are optimistic however, that the Chancellor has a huge opportunity here to rewrite the rule book in a way that would not just be fairer to struggling small business owners but would provide real protection for the jobs of the 4+ million people who rely on the hospitality & tourism industry for their livelihoods.

“A permanent reduction in VAT to 12.5% would be a lifeline for many pubs who have seen income down up to 50% while the cost of food, energy & staffing have continued to go up & a reduction in beer duty would help safeguard prices, keeping a key social environment accessible to people in a time when we’ve missed out on so much.”

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said, “85% of pubs are based in community and rural areas, bringing jobs to the parts of the UK that need them most. They employ over 600,000 people, of which 43% are under 25. Cutting Business Rates, VAT and an overall reduction in Beer Duty would go a long way to helping pubs and brewers across Rochdale that are desperately trying to recover.

“We are very grateful to Tony Lloyd for their support for the Long Live the Local campaign, and hope that the Government listens to MPs across Parliament and the thousands of people across the country who are calling on the Chancellor to lower VAT & Business Rates for pubs and reduce Beer Duty overall.”


Notes to Editors:

• Long Live the Local is a campaign backed by Britain’s Beer Alliance. The campaign celebrates the positive role of pubs and highlights the challenges they face, specifically an unfair tax burden which is set to increase. The Alliance consists of independent pubs, pub companies, regional, independent, and international breweries. In addition, 25,000 pubs have actively supported the campaign. Further information about the Long Live the Local campaign can be found here.