Rishi Sunak considering lower alcohol duty for pubs than supermarkets

Rishi’s spring boost for Britain? Chancellor is considering LOWER alcohol duty for pubs than supermarkets and is preparing to ‘extend stamp duty holiday until the end of JUNE’ at next week’s Budget

  • Tory MPs have urged Boris Johnson to reduce alcohol duty imposed on pubs
  • They want beer duty to be set at a lower rate for pubs than it is for supermarkets
  • Mr Johnson said review has been conducted and Rishi Sunak looking at findings 

Boris Johnson today revealed Rishi Sunak is considering rolling out lower rates of alcohol duty for pubs than for supermarkets. 

Tory MPs have urged the Government to treat pubs differently to large retailers to stop them being ‘undercut by cheap supermarket booze’. 

Mr Johnson said at PMQs at lunchtime that a review into so-called ‘differentiation’ has been carried out and Mr Sunak is ‘looking very closely at the findings’.

It came as Sir Keir Starmer told the PM that ‘now is not the time’ for tax rises ahead of the Budget on March 3.   

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will unveil his latest Budget next week on March 3 amid reports he will extend a stamp duty holiday 

Tory MP Giles Watling raised the alcohol duty issue and said: ‘My right honourable friend will know that pubs have been closing all over Britain for decades now, tearing the hearts out of communities. 

‘This terrible pandemic has made things even worse but part of the problem is undercutting by cheap supermarket booze. 

‘Now we are out of the EU surely we can do as we please on beer duty. 

‘Differentiation in favour of on sales could deliver great benefits to pubs in communities like Clacton at nil cost to the taxpayer. 

‘Will my right honourable friend commit ministers to look at this differentiation proposal?’ 

Mr Johnson replied: ‘He makes an extremely good point which I am sure will be heard with great interest around the country. 

‘There is just such a review being carried out after consulting pub owners and brewers and others and I know that the Chancellor is looking very closely at the findings.’  

Mr Johnson sidestepped calls from Sir Keir to ruled out tax rises for families and businesses in next week’s Budget. 

Sir Keir told the Commons: ‘Turning to next week’s Budget, now I don’t expect the Prime Minister to pre-empt what’s in the Budget. If I want that, I can read it on the front page of The Times.

‘But can the Prime Minister at least agree with me today that now is not the time for tax rises for families and for businesses?’

Mr Johnson responded: ‘The Budget is happening next week, it’s not a date that is concealed from (Sir Keir), he knows when it is… but it’s preposterous for him to talk about tax rises when he stood on a manifesto only a year ago, little over a year ago, to put up taxes by the biggest amount in the history of this country.

‘It is the Labour Party, his Labour council in Camden, that puts up taxes across the country, that is the way Labour behave and it’s thanks to prudent fiscal management by this Government that we’ve been able to fight this pandemic in the way that we have.’   

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