I was delighted to see a freeze on beer duty in the Autumn Budget as I believe that pubs play a crucial role in the social, cultural, and economic life of this country, and also help promote responsible drinking. I believe, therefore, that it is vital that the pub sector gets the support it needs to flourish.
I applaud these common sense policies, which are vital not only for the pub sector, but also for our world-class breweries and distilleries, and for consumers. I am proud to have 3 breweries in my constituency and around 110 pubs and I am glad to do my bit to help and protect these. I understand that the beer and pubs sector supports almost 1000 jobs here in the Borders which is great news!
There are many other aspects of policy relating to the pub sector, and many of these are the responsibility of the Scottish Government. Unfortunately, however, the SNP-led Scottish Government has failed to support our pubs. For example, due to the Scottish Government’s failure on business rates, Scottish businesses are now having to pay £14 million more in tax than they would if they were based in England. I trust that my Scottish Conservative colleagues in Holyrood will continue to hold the Scottish Government to account, and will stand up for Scottish pubs.