Ashfield MP voices her fears over future of Britain’s pubs

I have had a large number of emails and letters from constituents recently about their concerns over pubs closing, writes Gloria De Piero, MP for Ashfield.

I’ve even been directly contacted by a local landlord, worried that his own pub would have to shut.

Gloria De Piero MP

Gloria De Piero MP

Pubs are at the heart of our communities, and 30 million adults visit them every month.

The pub sector supports 900,000 jobs, generates £23 billion in economic value and provides £13 billion in tax revenues.

In the Ashfield constituency there are nearly 70 pubs employing more than 1,000 people.

Last week, the Chancellor announced that ‘beer duty’ would be frozen, which is welcome news, but doesn’t go far enough.

The duty was raised just last year and, together with increases, in other alcohol duties, will have cost pubs around £125 million.

The Chancellor has also scrapped the pub-specific relief rate, meaning that some pubs will be threatened with closure.

The Campaign for Real Ale called the measures a ‘sticking plaster’, and said that more needed to be done with 18 pubs still closing every week.

Labour is committed to setting up a national review of local pubs as well as to giving communities more power to shape their town centres, including by strengthening powers to protect pubs.

Of course, as well as this support of pubs themselves, people on the street need money in their pockets to spend in pubs and at other local high street businesses.

Recent research from YouGov found that more than half of people in Britain said that they were unable to afford to buy beer in pubs.

Under the Tories, workers are now £800 worse off than they were ten years ago, with workers in their 30s a staggering £2,000 worse off.

An end to austerity and an economy that works for all is the best way to support pubs and local businesses.

Pubs are a wonderful part of British culture and tradition, and I would like to see this Government do more to protect them.

I will continue to argue for measures which will enable the pub industry and our local communities to thrive and grow.