Today I pledged my support for the Long Live the Local Campaign to help pubs in Cardiff Central keep their doors open, joining more than 240,000 people who have signed the petition so far, including 346 here in Cardiff Central alone.

It might come as no surprise to you, but Beer and Pubs are key interests of mine. I’m currently Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Beer and a member of the APPG on Pubs. Cardiff Central has a fantastic, diverse range of pubs and the industry is something I will speak up for at every turn. For many they are the heart of communities, and for others a break from loneliness.

But with three British pubs closing their doors for good every day the Government should consider a cut to beer tax. I’m supporting the Long Live the Local campaign and calling on the Chancellor to cut beer tax at this year’s Budget to support pubs in our local communities.

I’m calling on the Government to cut beer tax at the Budget. With £1 in every £3 pounds spent in UK pubs going to the taxman, British drinkers now pay 40% of all beer tax across the EU, but drink only 12% of the beer. Seven in ten alcoholic drinks served in pubs are beer, underlining how directly a cut in beer duty will help pubs. Brewing and pubs in Cardiff Central supports 3406 jobs and contributes £66.6m to the local economy.

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

“Beer duty has increased by 60% over the last 17 years and now the UK has one of the highest rates of tax in Europe. When over two thirds of all alcoholic drinks purchased in the pub are beers, a cut in beer tax would go a long way to protecting pubs across Cardiff Central. We are very grateful to Jo Stevens for their 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 for a cut in beer tax to protect our pubs.”

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