Over 100 MPs make pre-budget plea for Rishi Sunak to slash beer duty

22 October 2021, 11:34

MPs signed the letter ahead of the Chancellor's Budget next week.
MPs signed the letter ahead of the Chancellor's Budget next week. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

More than 100 MPs have made a plea to Chancellor Rishi Sunak to cut beer duty ahead of his Budget review on Wednesday.

The campaign - led by MP Richard Holden - calls for the Chancellor not to increase alcohol duties and to cut the tax on draught sales to help pubs compete with supermarkets and off licences.

Among those who signed the letter to Mr Sunak were former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan-Smith and ex-Cabinet ministers Alun Cains and Karen Bradley.

It comes after the hospitality sector was one of the areas hit hardest by the pandemic, with many businesses being forced to close as a result.

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North West Durham MP Mr Holden said: "Our pubs are the heart and soul of our communities.

"The support given to pubs through furlough and grants throughout the global pandemic has been great but there is no denying that the hospitality sector has been hit harder than any other by the pandemic.

"That is why I am leading the call from over 100 colleagues on the Chancellor to cut draught beer duty.

"A cut will not only significantly bolster our much-loved pubs across our towns and villages, but also have great knock-on effects for British agriculture and employment, especially for young people in our hospitality sector.

"Over 100 fellow Conservative MPs and I hope that after a tough period, the Chancellor will give our pubs and clubs something to raise a drink to this Budget."

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The Budget and Spending Review will take place on October 27.

It will see the Chancellor set out how he plans to balance the books after a number of difficult decisions on how to repair the economy following the Covid pandemic.

Mr Sunak previously said in the Commons that he would "set out how we will continue to invest in public services and drive growth while keeping the public finances on a sustainable path".