Tax burden forcing permanent last orders for 18 pubs every week - 4th April 2018

As specialist licensed trade accountants, we were disappointed to read new figures released by the Campaign for Real Ale revealing that 18 pubs a week are closing due to a crippling combination of high beer duty, rising business rates and VAT.

CAMRA’s data claimed that one third of the cost of a pub pint is made up of various taxes and the group is calling on the Government to take urgent action to help the great British pub by reviewing the tax system.

The group added that Brexit provides new opportunities to support pubs, such as the potential for lower rates of tax for draught beer sold in pubs.

According to the survey, 35 pubs closed in the West Midlands between July 1 and December 31, 2017 though the second half of the year saw fewer closures nationally than the first six months of the year, when on average 20 pubs a week closed.

CAMRA national chairman Colin Valentine told industry publication The Morning Advertiser: “From these figures, it is clear a fundamental change is needed if the British pub is to survive for future generations.

“We can now look further afield for a tax deal for the sector. This could include implementing the Australian model by having a lower rate of duty for beer sold in pubs, radically changing the business rates system or charging a lower rate of VAT for pubs.”

As founder members of the Association of Licensed Trade Accountants (ALTA), SW&A are committed to helping pubs manage their finances and concentrate on what they do best – giving customers great food, drink and service which, in turn, will give them a better chance of survival.

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