Hundreds of pubs could go bust if booze duty is not cut in the Budget, beer bosses warn Jeremy Hunt

HUNDREDS of beer bosses representing Britain’s most beloved brands have pleaded with Jeremy Hunt to slash alcohol duty by five per cent.

In a letter to the Chancellor yesterday, chiefs at the likes of Asahi, Budweiser and Greene King have warned hundreds of pubs could go bust unless crippling rates are brought down at the Spring Budget.

Chiefs at the likes of Asahi, Budweiser and Greene King have issued warnings to Jeremy Hunt over beer duty

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Chiefs at the likes of Asahi, Budweiser and Greene King have issued warnings to Jeremy Hunt over beer dutyCredit: EPA

It comes as The Sun re-launches our Save our Sups campaign to keep a 75 per cent reduction in business rates for pubs, clubs and hotels due to end in August.

Our campaign also calls for Mr Hunt not to hike alcohol duty so the hard-pressed sector need not raise booze prices.

Bar and brewery chiefs say the Chancellor could unlock 13,000 jobs with a five per cent cut.

He could also prevent a repeat of 2023, when more than 600 pubs tragically closed down due to soaring bills, red tape and levies.

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In their letter, beer bosses said: “No government should turn a blind eye to the erosion of such an integral economic and cultural asset.

“By underpinning a successful and thriving beer and pub sector, we will provide you the short cut to achieving genuine Levelling Up in every corner of the country.

“The Spring Budget could help ensure that the Great British beer and pub sector can help contribute to wider growth and prosperity for the local high street and the wider national economy.”

Backing our campaign, Tory MP Greg Smith said: “The beer and pub sector delivers both economic and social value to local economies and communities across the country, yet it is one of the highest taxed sectors.

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“At this Budget the Chancellor has the opportunity to start redressing this misbalance with a cut to beer duty and a cap to business rates.”

Alun Cairns, Conservative MP and Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on beer, added: “It was wonderful to see beer duty frozen once again at the last Autumn Statement, and the introduction of the Brexit Pubs Guarantee means there will always be less tax on a pint at the pub than the supermarket.

“Britain’s pubs and brewers generate so much value for local economies and communities and it is clear that a cut to beer duty at the Spring Budget can be a driver of economic growth and job creation.”

A Treasury spokesperson said: “From April eligible pubs will continue to get 75 per cent off their business rates bills, which comes on top of a six-month alcohol duty freeze and our Brexit Pubs Guarantee commitment to keep duty on draught drinks lower than in shops.”