The 2023 Budget
Thousands of campaigners contacted their MP ahead of the 2023 Spring Budget, and in response the Chancellor:
- Introduced a short freeze on alcohol tax.
- Increased the gap between tax paid on beer and cider sold in supermarkets and off-licenses compared to that paid on beer and cider sold on draught in pubs and social clubs. Draught beer and cider were due to pay 5% less tax than supermarket or off-license products, but this is now 9.2% lower.
What did the Chancellor not do?
Some Business Rates relief is still available for hospitality businesses in England in 2023/24, but no changes were made to the Business Rates system, and this existing support was not extended.
Energy bill support was also not extended, leaving licensees in a precarious position as they don’t know what their business rates or energy bills will look like in the next year.
What’s needed now?
The Autumn Statement gave Government the opportunity to provide meaningful support to pubs, social clubs, brewers and cider makers.
CAMRA called for these key steps taken:
- Reduce draught beer and cider duty. This will help level the playing field between community venues like pubs and social clubs and the off-trade.
- Scrap the unnecessary rules that are preventing draught takeaway sales from draught duty-paid containers –an effective ban on take-home draught beer and cider for most pubs and festivals.
- In England, replace business rate relief schemes that are due to end next year – with money for devolved governments to do the same in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
- Act on energy supply and pricing issues for pubs and the supply chain.
So what’s next?
We didn’t see everything we had hoped for at the Autumn Statement.
The Chancellor’s decision not to increase Alcohol Duty is also positive, but missed an opportunity to target support to pubs and social clubs with a cut to draught duty.
Extending support on Business Rates for hospitality businesses in England for another year will undoubtedly help the trade, but CAMRA believes full reform of the system is what is needed – not another short term fix.
We also saw no action on resolving the issues around takeaway pints, or support on energy costs.
Use the links below to explore more on the issues we’re the campaigning for at Budget, and read about the vital change we’d like to see made to the new beer tax system.
Our members can also go to the Campaigns Hub and find additional resources, including Campaign Packs on energy bills and business rates.