Beer Taxation and Pubs

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:26 pm on 28th March 2019.

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Photo of Toby Perkins Toby Perkins Labour, Chesterfield 2:26 pm, 28th March 2019

It is a great pleasure to follow Mrs Main, who called at the end of her speech for more to be done to support our pubs—the theme of this entire debate.

Pubs are absolutely crucial to our communities and certainly to my constituency. Chesterfield has 105 pubs, and 1,419 people there rely on beer and pubs for their employment. In Chesterfield alone, £15 million goes into the local economy through wages paid to people who work in our pubs. Alongside the economic value that pubs provide—we have talked about the huge tax contribution that they make—pubs also make an incredibly important social contribution. As we have heard from other hon. Members, when a pub closes on an estate there is no longer a focal point for the community.

What is the first thing that comes to mind when we think about soap operas? We think of The Rovers Return or the Queen Vic, which are the hub of their communities. When people visit our country, the first thing they want to do is visit the local and have a pint of British ale. We cannot overestimate the incredibly important role that pubs play in our social fabric.