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

We absolutely want the Welsh dragon to be roaring, so I take my hon. Friend’s point. As a serial entrepreneur, she has a lot of experience in this area. We want to ensure that the operation of small brewers relief helps to drive innovation and growth, and we will shortly make further announcements about that through the Budget process. I want to reassure Alex Davies-Jones that the review is not about whether to abolish small brewers relief; it is about its operation and ensuring that it is working effectively.

My hon. Friend Steve Double referred to the 85 pubs in his constituency, which I look forward to going round when I come down to Cornwall in due course. He referred to the burden of taxation. Obviously, when we are doing these things as part of the Budget process, a cut to alcohol duties represents a significant loss in revenue for the Exchequer. The effect of inflation means that, in real terms, beer duty has been cut every time that we have frozen it over the past several years. Even in nominal terms, beer duty is now lower than it was in 2012, but we will continue to review all taxes.