Hospitality Industry and Tourism: Rural Areas

Treasury written question – answered at on 20 October 2023.

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Photo of Neil Hudson Neil Hudson Conservative, Penrith and The Border

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what recent steps they have taken to support hospitality and tourism in rural areas.

Photo of Neil Hudson Neil Hudson Conservative, Penrith and The Border

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the adequacy of the level of fiscal support his Department is providing to pubs.

Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

The Government believes that pubs make an important contribution to our culture, fostering a sense of place and community, and to the UK economy.

The Government is aware that the high street faces long-term challenges and is committed to supporting the businesses that make our high streets and town centres successful. Therefore, at Autumn Statement 2022, the Government announced a package of support worth £13.6 billion over the next five years, including:

  • a freeze to the business rates multiplier for 2023-24, a tax cut worth £9.3 billion over the next 5 years, meaning all bills are 6% lower than without the freeze;
  • an increased 75% relief for retail, hospitality and leisure properties including pubs, up to a cash cap of £110,000 per business for 2023-24. This is a tax cut worth over £2 billion for around 230,000 RHL businesses, to support the high street and protect small shops.

Furthermore, to support pubs, our 'Brexit Pubs Guarantee,' confirms that the duty on a draught pint will always be lower than its equivalent in a supermarket. And the new alcohol duty system implemented in August of this year included a new Draught Relief that provides a significant duty discount on beers below 8.5% alcohol by volume (ABV) sold in containers of 20 litres or more in the on-trade.

The Community Ownership Fund has awarded £49.3 million to 195 projects across the UK, including rural pubs, with £35 million allocated to 131 projects across England, £6.2 million allocated to 28 projects in Scotland, £4 million to 18 projects in Wales and £4.1 million to 18 projects in Northern Ireland.

The Government keeps all taxes under review.

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