Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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How the Chancellor can use this Budget to help local pubs

The Black Country has some of the best pubs and breweries in the country.  Last year's Beer Duty freeze has helped them out, but lets freeze Alcohol Duty completely to help them grow even further.


Despite the government trumpeting a recovery, hard working people and small businesses in places like Dudley are still struggling. Both will be watching the upcoming Budget closely for some sign that the government understands what they're going through.

They could show this by backing an alcohol duty freeze.

First and foremost, a freeze would keep pubs open. The Black Country is home to a burgeoning industry of pubs and breweries that sell some of the best beer in the country, like Holden's and Fownes in Dudley. Many got in touch with me last year to call for an end to the Beer Duty Escalator, and it's cancellation is encouraging these businesses to grow.

But pubs don't just sell beer. 42 percent of pub sales are now made up of wine and spirits and this figure is rising.

Those sales are still being hit by the Duty Escalator. As a result, British drinkers now pay more tax on alcohol than any other country in Europe. In fact they pay almost 40 percent of all alcohol tax paid in the EU - more than France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Portugal combined.

So cancelling the Alcohol Duty Escalator would help consumers with the rising cost of living as well as helping pubs, bars and restaurants expand. It's estimated that 6,000 jobs could be created as an result.

Just like last year, I've been receiving lots of emails from constituents who want a duty freeze to protect jobs, keep the price of a pint down and keep pubs open.

Labour MPs have every reason to back their campaign. Find out more about it at calltimeonduty.com

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