In response to a campaign to encourage the Chancellor to reduce alcohol duty in the 2016 Budget:
Thank you for your recent email regarding alcohol duty.
I know the wine, spirits, beer and cider industries; ranging from producers and suppliers to pubs, hotels and restaurants; play an important role in providing employment. I am particularly conscious of this as the representative of an area with major breweries and also with many rural pubs and restaurants which are very important to their communities. I am therefore pleased the Chancellor, George Osborne, has listened to the concerns of many individuals and reduced the level of alcohol duty on beer, cider and spirits, while freezing it for wine.
For the third year in a row, the tax on a typical pint of beer has been cut by 1p. This means that an average pint of beer is 9p cheaper than it would have been under Labour’s plans when they were in power. The duty on spirits and on cider has also been cut by 2 per cent as I know many had campaigned for, while the duty on wine will be frozen. This will keep the duties on beer and wine broadly similar.
I know that the Budget will be delivered in March but I am unable to comment on any policy announcements prior to this. I know the Government is committed to supporting pubs, alongside helping those who work in the beer, spirits, wine and cider industries right across the UK. You may be assured that in conversations with both front and backbench colleagues, I will personally advocate for pubs and our important brewing industry.
The action already taken by the Government is very good news for the retail and hospitality sectors, including pubs and people who work in them. I welcome this support for them, which protects jobs, and helps people keep more of the money they earn.
Thank you again for getting in touch.