Pub Closures

Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 20th November 2018.

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Photo of Toby Perkins Toby Perkins Labour, Chesterfield 12:00 am, 20th November 2018

What estimate he has made of the number of pubs that closed in 2018; and what assessment he has made of the reasons for those pub closures.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

Pubs make a major contribution to the economy and to community life. That is why the Government are supporting pubs through measures such as the beer duty freeze and the business rates retail discount announced in the Budget.

Photo of Toby Perkins Toby Perkins Labour, Chesterfield

That does not really answer the question of why 7,000 pubs have closed since 2010, so I encourage the Minister to address that when she returns to the Dispatch Box. To be more positive, she will have seen that the all-party parliamentary group on pubs is bringing about a parliamentary pub of the year award, so I encourage her to nominate a pub in her constituency and to join us and the Under-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Jake Berry, on 15 January to find out which is Britain’s greatest parliamentary pub.

Photo of Kelly Tolhurst Kelly Tolhurst Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy)

I recognise the hon. Gentleman’s concern and his work in this area over a long period of time. He is a champion for the sector. There are several reasons why there may be pub closures, which is why we are acting to freeze beer duty and address small business rate relief. We estimate that 75% of pubs will benefit from the reductions announced in the Budget. To answer his second point, I will happily attend the event on 15 January, if possible.

Several hon. Members:

rose—

Photo of John Bercow John Bercow Speaker of the House of Commons, Chair, Speaker's Committee on the Electoral Commission, Chair, Speaker's Committee for the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, Chair, Commons Reference Group on Representation and Inclusion Committee

Order. We come now to topical questions, and I gently remind the House that topicals are supposed to be much shorter than substantives, so we do not want preambles. Members who start to engage in preambles will be asked to resume their seat. With straightforward questions and straightforward replies, we will rip through as many as we possibly can.