Kate writes a bi-weekly column for the Burton Mail. This column was originally featured in the 10th March print edition.
It doesn’t matter where you are in the country, in any region, the place where a community comes together is most likely going to be a pub. This has been the case for hundreds of years and in more recent times pubs have shown great resilience and support to their local community throughout the pandemic, helping vulnerable patrons with shopping or taking people to vaccination appointments.
However, the aftershock of the pandemic, combined with the global rises in energy prices and cost of living concerns, mean many pubs and breweries remain at risk. And now they need our help. Next Wednesday is Budget Day and will be when the Chancellor sets out the Government’s spending commitments and vision for the economy, as well as setting the level of duties paid on products such as beer, wine and spirits.
Burton is the capital of British Brewing with pubs and breweries supporting 4,757 jobs and contributing £174.8m to the local economy in our area. This means that whatever economic decisions are made by the Chancellor on alcohol duties and the hospitality sector they have an impact on the brewing industry and our town.
Speaking with brewery leaders and publicans locally as often as I do, I know all too well the difficulties they have faced and the current challenges facing them at the present time. That is why I, and many of my Parliamentary colleagues are urging the Chancellor to back our breweries and local pubs in the Budget next week by reducing the tax burden on our hospitality sector and the British brewing sector.
Throughout history pubs have been at the centre of our island story and they continue to be there for our community today. Now it is them that need our help as they face challenging times, and as the Member of Parliament for the capital of British brewing I will continue to do all I can to stand up for them and our locals.