Support the ‘people behind the pint’ this Christmas urges British Beer and Pub Association
The Long Live the Local campaign, by the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA), aims to support 74,000 local jobs in breweries, bars and supply chains across Yorkshire and The Humber, which pay £1bn in wages and contribute nearly £2bn to the economy.
The BBPA’s Long Live the Local campaign is shining a light on the nearly one million people who work in the industry.
Customers support hundreds of thousands of jobs across the region, including farmers growing hops, brewers developing new recipes, scientists working on quality control and logistics teams managing deliveries.
Jackie Fairburn, landlady of the Hare & Hounds in West Ardsley, in West Yorkshire, said: “Pubs are the meeting place for most things in life. They are the nucleus of everything, the social hub of any local community. We've got to keep them alive because they are part of being British, of who we are.“Right now, absolutely everyone is talking about costs. It’s extortionate. There’s a temptation to cut corners in how we run the business, but ultimately it just doesn't work.
"I'm passionate about what I do and I want to do it right. My clientele want to support me and I want to support them.“There are plenty of people who come in for a pint, but there are many other things that bring people to a pub and we’re trying to create opportunities for that. We do coffee and tea every couple of weeks, a local book club, a choir and a Christmas carol concert every year.”
Pubs and brewers have faced major increases to their costs over the last few years while struggling to limit price rises. The Autumn Statement provided vital support with an extension to business rates relief and the freeze on beer duty, but the BBPA is calling for further action in the next budget.
It wants the Chancellor to cut tax on beer and pledge to bring beer duty down to the European average over the course of the next Parliament.
Secondly, it wants to see business rates reform so pubs and brewers can invest in the future, with the 75 per cent relief maintained and a cap to the planned increase in the 2024 business rates multiplier until this is implemented.
Thirdly, it is calling for the VAT rate to be lowered to 12.5 per cent for pubs to help publicans and customers with cost of living increases
The Long Live the Local campaign invites customers to buy an extra round this Christmas to support the people behind the pint.
Emma McClarkin, chief executive of the British Beer and Pub Association, said:
“So many of life’s milestones are marked by sharing a beer, whether in commiseration or joy. Behind the glass, there are nearly a million people across the cities and regions who make this possible: including brewers, technicians, delivery drivers, farmers and the pub staff at the counter."
She added: “But the industry needs our support to survive. Britain remains one of the most expensive places in the world to have a pint, with beer duty more than double the average across Europe.”