The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) and the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) have unveiled the “I’m backing the pub” campaign today (26 November) in a bid to slow down the rate of pub closures, which is currently at 50 a week.
The industry bodies are calling on the Government to reduce tax on beer as well as introduce a reduced duty rate on lower strength beers and greater support for pubs serving food in a manifesto called “The life and soul of Britain’s communities”.
The BBPA and SIBA have been buoyed by a recent opinion poll carried out by ComRes that showed a majority (71%) of the public believe that tax on beer is too high and that seven out of 10 people believe more needs to be done to support and promote the pub.
Brigid Simmonds, chief executive of the BBPA, says the poll shows there is a “clear and compelling public consensus” that the pub is a “vital part” of people’s community and the “social and economic character of Britain”.
The manifesto calls on the Government to reverse the 8% increase in duty on beer imposed at the time of the VAT cut last January when VAT returns to its 17.5% rate in the new year. It also wants plans to increase duty by 2% above inflation in the Budget in March next year to be scrapped..
The campaign will include press, digital and PR activity.