Pubs play a crucial role in the social and economic life of our nation, as well in helping to promote responsible drinking. I fully support the measures being taken to help pubs, delivering on our manifesto commitment to further cut taxes for small businesses.
To help protect our local pubs, the Asset of Community Value scheme was established to enable communities to list facilities of local importance, including pubs. This means that if a pub owner wishes to sell up, the community has six months to come up with a plan and funding in order to try to save it. I am glad that there are now around 2,000 pubs across England listed as assets of community value.
To further support pubs, a freeze on beer, cider, and spirit duties was announced last year. The Government also brought in changes to the taxation system to benefit pubs by providing a £1,000 discount on business rates bills in 2017 for 90 per cent of pubs in England – extended in the Autumn Budget 2017 for a further year, through to March 2019. In addition, a one-third discount to business rates for smaller pubs and bars was introduced in 2018. I’m very pleased that in January the Government announced an additional £1000 business rates discount for pubs.
These measures provide much needed support for our pubs, and I look forward to playing my part in continuing this support over the next Parliament.