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Beer and Pub Taxation — [James Gray in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:48 pm on 5th February 2020.

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Photo of Simon Clarke Simon Clarke The Exchequer Secretary 3:48 pm, 5th February 2020

My hon. Friend’s intervention draws attention to precisely the social value that pubs add. His constituency is a rural one in Derbyshire, and many small pubs currently benefit from 100% rural rate relief, as well as small business rate relief. Those are the kinds of reliefs that we want to encourage in order to ensure that we support businesses in all areas of the country, not just in our big towns and cities.

All pubs will continue to benefit from wider reforms to business rates, most notably the switch from RPI indexation to CPI indexation, which took place in April 2018. That change alone is saving business rate payers over £6 billion over the next five years. More widely, the Government are committed to carrying out a fundamental review of the business rates system, and further details will be announced in due course.

The hon. Member for Barnsley East mentioned the impact of pub closures on the high street, which is something the Government take into account. We have initiated the future high streets fund, which is designed to mitigate the pressures on the high street due to changing retail patterns.