Call for future PM to support pubs and bars

Call for future PM to support pubs and bars

UKHospitality has underlined to Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson the urgent need for a new prime minister to implement policy changes to support the future of British pubs.

With cosignatories the BII, CAMRA, SIBA, Pub is the Hub and the BBPA, a joint letter outlines the need for stability in the sector that can only be delivered via a basket of policy reform. These include delivery on the Conservative manifesto commitment to reform of business rates, with interim measures to end the impacts of the hugely increased costs of the property tax.

“After such a prolonged period of uncertainty and instability for hospitality operators, it is crucial to the fortunes of our sector – and the British economy – that a new prime minister recognises and acts to protect the value of our venues to the UK economy, culture and society,” says Kate Nicholls, UKH’s CEO (pictured).

“The operating environment is approaching crisis point, and we cannot stand by without making this a top priority for a new PM. We and our sector allies have sent a firm but friendly reminder to Mr Hunt and Mr Johnson that the venues that Britons value so highly are at risk, and we have called upon them to take simple but effective measures to safeguard our pubs.”

The letter in full…

Dear leadership candidate,

Congratulations on reaching the final two of the leadership campaign. We are writing on behalf of a coalition of organisations that support and promote the UK beer, pub and wider hospitality sectors. We represent brewers, pub and hospitality owners, beer consumers and pub enthusiasts.

Pubs and brewing support 900,000 jobs in towns and communities throughout the UK and contribute £23bn to the UK economy. One in 14young adults currently in employment, work in our sector and the sector generates nearly £13bn in tax revenues for the Exchequer. At a time of uncertainty, division and change, Britain’s pubs remain a force for good and have a unique role to play. They are at the centre of Britain’s socio-economic make up, bringing our diverse communities together and enhancing Britain’s reputation abroad. They are among the top three places to visit for tourists coming to the UK.

Despite its importance and success this is a sector that is under pressure. We believe that a future Conservative leader and UK Government should be supporting the industry. Below we have set out a range of measures that could do this:
  • At least a freeze on beer duty for the rest of the parliament
  • An urgent review of the business rates system with the aim of reducing the burden on high street businesses
  • Short-term business rates support at the 2019 Budget for pub and hospitality businesses of all sizes to alleviate the immediate threats and promote investment
  • Review the VAT and excise duty systems post-Brexit to promote out of home consumption
  • Ensure tariff free trade on food and drink with the EU to promote beer exports and keep the cost of food down for UK consumers
  • Establish a post-Brexit immigration system that ensures pubs and brewers can access the staff they need to succeed and grow, delivering a great experience for consumers
  • Support the, recently announced, Tourism Sector Deal which aims to supercharge the sector and greatly improve the number and quality of apprenticeships and wider training across the economy.

We would be delighted to meet to discuss any of the issues raised here in more detail and can also organise meetings in suitable venues if you wish to engage with brewers, pub businesses, licensees and consumers.