Chancellor urged to support UK pub sector
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Chancellor urged to support UK pub sector

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Consumer and industry organisations have called on George Osborne to support the UK's pub industry when the chancellor unveils his emergency budget on 22 June.

An independent report by Oxford Economics has warned that an increase in VAT would add an extra 6p to the price of a pint in pubs, and could lead to more than 7,000 job losses across the country. The study forms part of a budget submission by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Society of Independent Brewers and calls for a sustained freeze on duty.

If Osborne increases VAT to 20 per cent as part of the emergency budget, the three groups said duty will have to be cut by 4 per cent to ensure beer in pubs was not taxed more; a move that would also increase tax receipts to the Treasury by £114m in 2010-11. BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: "This report shows that a decision to raise VAT would have a disproportionate effect on beer and pubs at the expense of the off-trade.

"We are calling on the government to reduce duty in the event that VAT is increased to ensure that pubs are not unduly affected by the change. In doing so, the Treasury would benefit from more than £100m more into the coffers through additional tax receipts." CAMRA chief executive Mike Benner added: "These are difficult times for the public purse, but the chancellor needs to support pubs to save jobs and ensure ordinary people can continue to afford to drink sociably in community pubs."

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Consumer and industry organisations have called on George Osborne to support the UK's pub industry when the chancellor unveils his emergency budget on 22 June.
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