Thank you for contacting me about the Long Live The Local campaign to cut Beer Duty.
As you allude to in your email, the Government has either frozen or cut beer duty several times since it took the decision to end the escalator in 2013. Furthermore, last year, for only the second time in twenty years, every single alcohol duty was frozen – demonstrating the importance the Government places on protecting and supporting pubs.
With this in mind, I share your concern about the future of pubs and the hardship caused by this dreadful pandemic. I want to see the Government continue to support pubs and keep costs down for consumers to maintain and stimulate demand for a good old pint down the local. As you know, this decision is a matter for my colleauges in the Treasury, and I have ensured that they are aware of the points you raise while also reminding them of the importance of local pubs in our communities.
Finally, I recognise that there is a broad recognition of the need to reform the current duty system to support the alcoholic drinks and pubs sector in the longer term. To this end, the Government is currently analysing responses to its call for evidence on the reform of Alcohol Duty. This area of policy was previously harmonised by EU law. Now that the UK has left the EU, the UK is free to set its own law in this area.
Thank you again for getting in touch with me.