Reduce beer duty and VAT and save our pubs

Date published: 08 August 2018


It was very disappointing to read the latest figures showing that the pub industry is still struggling to survive, with 18 closing their doors for the last time in Britain every week.

Sadly this decline has been on-going for a long time now and the North West is the hardest hit area, along with the South East.

The Campaign of Real Ale, (Camra) has revealed that there were 476 closures nationally in the first six months of this year, which is 13 more than the previous half year.

The government could help ease this situation as the third of the cost of a pint is made up of various taxes but there is little evidence that they are going to do so.

The combination of high beer duty, VAT and rising business rates is crippling the industry and killing off the traditional boozer.

And at the same time booze in supermarkets and off-licences is comparatively cheap encouraging people to drink at home.

The government urgently needs to reduce the beer duty and VAT so that the food and drink industry can compete with those shopping outlets.

It is easy for people to just shrug their shoulders on reading that yet another pub has closed its doors but it should not be forgotten that every closure means not just a loss of an amenity but a loss of jobs.

Pubs are at the heart of communities, urban and rural, up and down this land, and a cynical observer might think that the government - of whatever hue - is happy for the places where people gather to chew the fat should vanish.

We all know that politics, local and national, is a regular topic while a pint or two are downed and with the increasing dumbing down of society I fear the powers-that-be would prefer citizens to be at home mesmerised by their electronic devices rather than discussing societal issues.

Paul Nuttall

North West MEP

UK Independence Party

The views expressed are those of the author of the letter and not those of Oldham Chronicle.