The Treasury is considering the merits of differentiating products based on their place of retail as part of its alcohol duty review. We are currently analysing responses provided by stakeholders to our recent call for evidence and will provide further updates in due course.
I thank my hon. Friend for her answer. It is all very well conducting calls for evidence and creating reports, welcome though they may be, but we live in extraordinary times that require extraordinary measures taken quickly. I implore the Minister to press her Department to act on this matter now. Hospitality in general, and pubs in particular, are facing closure every day. Will she act?
I know that my hon. Friend is a fierce advocate of pubs and brewers, and he has been proposing a duty differential for several years. I should stress that I am personally very interested in this proposal, but there are a number of complex issues associated with it, including how producers and wholesalers would account for and manage their stock of beer; how to ensure that any reduced rate is not exploited fraudulently; and how any differential would interact with the existing small brewers relief scheme. However, I would like to reassure him that we are looking closely at the proposals he has put forward.