Local MP pledges support for local pubs in Edinburgh

Joanna Cherry QC MP has today pledged her support for the Long Live the Local campaign to help pubs and breweries in Edinburgh recover and thrive. Joanna Cherry joins over 125,000 people who have signed the petition so far.

Joanna Cherry MP is calling on the Westminster Government to lower VAT for pubs and for an overall reduction in Beer Duty. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on brewers and pubs throughout Scotland and continues to do so as the sector tries to kickstart its recovery. The sector needs an immediate boost, a local pub is estimated to add £100,000 to its local economy, creates jobs and acts as a social hub, which underlines how direct investment in the form of lower VAT and an overall cut to beer duty can help pubs and their communities to recover. It will also boost Edinburgh’s world class brewing sector.

Brewing and pubs in Edinburgh South West supports 1048 jobs and contributes £35m to the local economy. With £1 in every £3 pounds spent in UK pubs going to the taxman, drinkers and pub goers are overtaxed and this is hampering the recovery of our cherished local pubs and Scotland’s brewers.

Commenting on the campaign, Joanna Cherry MP said:

My Edinburgh South West constituency is home to fantastic breweries like the Caledonian and the Edinburgh Beer Factory along with the UK headquarters of Heineken and many great pubs. Pubs are at the heart of communities and the tourist industry across Edinburgh. Pubs have born a disproportionate burden as a result of the pandemic and the Scottish Government has given 100% business rates relief for the hospitality industry until at least March 2022. The UK Government should consider cutting unfair taxes on pubs that are hampering their recovery. I’m supporting the Long Live the Local campaign and calling on the UK Chancellor to lower VAT for pubs and reduce Beer Duty overall at this year’s Budget to support the recovery of pubs.

Emma McClarkin, Chief Executive of the British Beer and Pub Association said:

85% of pubs are based in community and rural areas, bringing jobs to the parts of the UK that need them most. They employ over 600,000 people, of which 43% are under 25. Cutting Business Rates, VAT and an overall reduction in Beer Duty would go a long way to helping pubs and brewers across Edinburgh South West that are desperately trying to recover. We are very grateful to Joanna Cherry for her support for the Long Live the Local campaign, and hope that the Government listens to MPs across Parliament and the thousands of people across the country who are calling on the Chancellor to lower VAT for pubs and reduce Beer Duty overall.

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