Alun Cairns backs campaign urging Rishi Sunak to cut duty for draught beer
Alun Cairns has backed a campaign urging Rishi Sunak to cut duty for draught beer.
The Tory MP for the Vale of Glamorgan, and former Welsh Secretary, joined with over a 100 Conservative backbench MPs in asking the Chancellor to to do more to support pubs and clubs at next week’s budget.
In a letter to Sunak, they have called on him to maintain a freeze on alcohol duties when he delivers his budget on Wednesday, as well as urge him to introduce a cut in duty for draught beer.
The letter says: “A lower beer duty on draught sales in pubs, clubs and bars, compared to off sales in supermarkets, would be a huge boost to their ability to prosper and rebuild from COVID-19.
“Moreover, it would be easy to understand, simple to administer, and importantly, demonstrate this government’s clear commitment to Britain’s pubs.”
The campaign spearheaded by North West Durham MP Richard Holden and is being supported by former Conservative leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith and ex-cabinet minister and Karen Bradley.
Their letter acknowledges that a freeze on alcohol duties would mean that the UK Treasury loses around £300m in lost tax receipts and that this would lead to either higher taxes or lower spending elsewhere, or more borrowing.
However they argued that it would be a “worthwhile trade-off” that would help pubs, clubs and brewers “thrive and survive” after the Covid-19 pandemic.
They also called for wider review of alcohol duties to “consider wider reform and simplification of our alcohol duties system”. They described the current system as “complex at best” and “nonsensical at worst”.