Many of Munira’s constituents have contacted her since her election, regarding beer duty and in support of the Long Live the Local Campaign.
The hospitality industry has been hit particularly hard by the various restrictions and lockdowns throughout the Covid pandemic and this has only intensified people’s concerns regarding their local pubs.
The cask beer brewing industry, in particular, has been hit hard by the Government’s Covid restrictions. This industry has had no industry-specific help and no blanket business rates exemptions. They are unable to sell to the off-trade suppliers, and a cask has a short shelf life. It is one of the product lines that is the first to be slimmed down during quieter periods in hospitality. The UK has come on tremendously in this area over the last two decades, with local breweries producing quality beers and employing their local communities – across the nation.
To survive, pubs and hospitality need urgent support to let them plan for their eventual recovery.
Many of England’s local pubs are also threatened by business rates. Property values in town centres have increased far quicker than in out-of-town areas, meaning that pubs face an additional tax bill. Businesses rates are clearly not fit for purpose. As online shopping continues to place pressure on high street shops, it is unfair that businesses are charged on the value of their properties. That is why the Liberal Democrats would abolish the business rates system and replace it with a commercial land value tax, so that all businesses – large or small, online or offline – pay their fair share.
Therefore, to address this, Munira wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer on behalf of local residents. See the response Munira received from Helen Whately below:
This letter outlines the Government’s response and provides some recognition of the importance of the beer, pub and hospitality industry. The Budget announcement today also illustrates this with a new, lower duty rate on draught beer and cider which will reduce the rates by five percent. However, the final report of the business rates system, which will include further policy development, has not yet been published.
Commenting, Munira Wilson said, “I am glad that after writing to the Government on many occasions on behalf of hundreds of constituents, the Chancellor has finally decided to listen to local residents, lowering business rates for pubs and making draught beer cheaper”
“While my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I welcome this announcement, we also acknowledge that there is more to be done to make sure that our pubs, and the wider hospitality industry, stay afloat and flourish post-pandemic”
If you would like to get in touch with Munira, you can do so here. If you would like to read the Autumn Budget in full, you can do so here. The new announcements regarding alcohol and pubs can be found on Page 83.
The Government has also replied to Munira’s wider questions about the tourism and hospitality sector. Hopefully this letter is informative and helpful for concerned local residents.