Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Petition Cut beer duty for at least 12 months, so pubs can survive after the covid virus.

Help pubs rebuild their business by cutting beer duty for atleast a year, so that the price of a pint can be dropped therefore getting more people in through the door.

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The government are the ones that control the amount of tax on beer, nobody else can do it.

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Government responded

This response was given on 5 June 2020

The Government has announced an unprecedented package of support for individuals and businesses to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19, which will directly benefit the pubs sector.

Read the response in full

The Government is aware that COVID-19 presents unprecedented challenges to many UK businesses including the pubs sector. In order to support public services, individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by COVID-19 the Government announced an unprecedented £330 billion support package of temporary, timely and targeted measures. These included the introduction of a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank, and a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms. The total of the available guarantees is equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. The package also gave all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, including the pubs sector in England, a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months; and increasing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000. To assist the smallest SME’s the Government announced the new Bounce Back Loans Scheme, which will ensure that the smallest businesses can access up to £50,000 loans in a matter of just days. These loans will be from £2,000 up to £50,000, capped at 25% of firms’ turnover. The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee on each loan, to give lenders the confidence they need to support the smallest businesses in the country. In addition, the Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees charged to the business by the lender and no repayments will be due during the first 12 months of the loan term, giving businesses the space they need to get through this difficult period.

In addition to the Small Business Grant Scheme, the Government will grant small businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors a higher grant of £25,000 per property, for each property that has a rateable value above £15,000 and below £51,000. Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors which aren’t eligible for Small Business Rate Relief/Rural Rates Relief, will be eligible for a £10,000 grant per property, for each property that has a rateable value of £15,000 or below.

Further economic support for businesses, employees and individuals was announced on 20 March: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses. The announcement included a new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It also included VAT deferral for all businesses, so UK VAT registered businesses will not need to pay any VAT due alongside their normal VAT return from 20 March through to the end of June – a deferral worth over £30 billion or 1.5% of GDP. Businesses will have until the end of the financial year (31 March 2021) to pay back any deferred VAT. This is to help support businesses with their cash flows and support individuals’ employment.

The Government notes the request for beer duty to be cut but has no plans to do so at this time. All taxes are kept under review and decisions on tax rates are made by the Chancellor as part of the annual Budget process.

HM Treasury

This is a revised response. The Petitions Committee requested a response which more directly addressed the request of the petition. You can find the original response towards the bottom of the petition page (https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/306054)

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Other parliamentary business

Original Government response

The Government has announced an unprecedented package of support for individuals and businesses to mitigate the economic impacts of COVID-19, which will directly benefit the pubs sector.

The Government is aware that COVID-19 presents unprecedented challenges to many UK businesses including the pubs sector. In order to support public services, individuals and businesses through the economic disruption caused by COVID-19 the Government announced an unprecedented £330 billion support package of temporary, timely and targeted measures. These included the introduction of a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme offering loans of up to £5 million for SMEs through the British Business Bank, and a new lending facility from the Bank of England to help support liquidity among larger firms. The total of the available guarantees is equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. The package also gave all retail, hospitality and leisure businesses, including the pubs sector in England, a 100% business rates holiday for the next 12 months; and increasing grants to small businesses eligible for Small Business Rate Relief from £3,000 to £10,000. To assist the smallest SME’s the Government announced the new Bounce Back Loans Scheme, which will ensure that the smallest businesses can access up to £50,000 loans in a matter of just days. These loans will be from £2,000 up to £50,000, capped at 25% of firms’ turnover. The Government will provide lenders with a 100% guarantee on each loan, to give lenders the confidence they need to support the smallest businesses in the country. In addition, the Government will cover the first 12 months of interest payments and fees charged to the business by the lender and no repayments will be due during the first 12 months of the loan term, giving businesses the space they need to get through this difficult period.

In addition to the Small Business Grant Scheme, the Government will grant small businesses in the retail, hospitality or leisure sectors a higher grant of £25,000 per property, for each property that has a rateable value above £15,000 and below £51,000. Businesses in the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors which aren’t eligible for Small Business Rate Relief/Rural Rates Relief, will be eligible for a £10,000 grant per property, for each property that has a rateable value of £15,000 or below.

Further economic support for businesses, employees and individuals was announced on 20 March: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses. The announcement included a new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It also included VAT deferral for all businesses, so UK VAT registered businesses will not need to pay any VAT due alongside their normal VAT return from 20 March through to the end of June – a deferral worth over £30 billion or 1.5% of GDP. Businesses will have until the end of the financial year (31 March 2021) to pay back any deferred VAT. This is to help support businesses with their cash flows and support individuals’ employment.

The Government is monitoring the impact of these measures, including the extent to which they are supporting business sectors, such as the pubs sector, and is keeping the situation under review. All taxes are kept under review and are a matter for the Chancellor to consider at each Budget.

HM Treasury

This response was given on 6 May 2020. The Petitions Committee then requested a revised response, that more directly addressed the request of the petition.

Petitions Committee requests a revised response from the Government

The Petitions Committee (the group of MPs who oversee the petitions system) have considered the Government’s response to this petition. They felt that the response did not directly address the request of petition and have therefore written back to the Government to ask them to provide a revised response.

When the Committee have received a revised response from the Government, this will be published on the website and you will receive an email. If you would not like to receive further updates about this petition, you can unsubscribe below.

MPs investigate the economic impact of coronavirus

A group of MPs called the Treasury Committee is investigating the economic impact of coronavirus, including looking at support for businesses, employees and self-employed people.

The Committee launched the first stage of its inquiry on 18 March to look at the speed, effectiveness and reach of the Government’s and Bank of England’s immediate financial response to coronavirus.

During this stage, the Committee pushed the Government on the lack of support for the self-employed, on lenders requesting personal guarantees on business interruption loans, and on the issue of large firms struggling to get support, including in order to retain their employees.

On 24 April the Committee launched the next stage of its inquiry, in which it will examine the effectiveness, cost and sustainability of the Government’s and Bank of England’s support packages. The Committee will also examine the impact on the economy and different sectors, the implications for public finances, and how the Government can work towards a sustained recovery.

You can find out about the inquiry, including how to submit your views and details of meetings the Committee is holding, here: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/224/economic-impact-of-coronavirus/

The Treasury Committee is a cross-party group of MPs and is independent of the Government. The Committee looks at and questions the Government about matters relating to the spending of public money and economic policy.

You can find out more about the Treasury Committee on their website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/158/treasury-committee

You can follow the Treasury Committee on Twitter: @CommonsTreasury

The Treasury Committee is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Has coronavirus affected your business in Wales?

A group of MPs called the Welsh Affairs Committee is looking into the impact of coronavirus on the Welsh economy, and would like to hear your views.

If your business in Wales has been affected by coronavirus, complete this survey to tell the Welsh Affairs Committee how the coronavirus outbreak has affected you: https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=nt3mHDeziEC-Xo277ASzSsdf6aRbb_hHi61kcnJ3-KJUNEpKUVQ3ODkxU0tTQUdVV05ZMFhYRFozRy4u

The survey should only take 10 minutes to complete, and closes at 5pm on 15 May.

The Welsh Affairs Committee is a cross-party group of MPs and is independent of the Government. The Committee looks at and questions the Government about matters that have an impact on Wales.

You can find out more about the Welsh Affairs Committee on their website: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/162/welsh-affairs-committee/

You can follow the Welsh Affairs Committee on Twitter: @CommonsWelshAff

The Welsh Affairs Committee is a ‘select committee’. Find out how Select Committees work: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_2RDuDs44c

Further Information

You may also be interested to know that because of the large number of petitions that have been started in relation to coronavirus, the Petitions Committee has been questioning the Government about its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Find out more and watch the Committee put questions suggested by petitioners to Government Ministers and the Deputy Chief Medical Officer: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/326/petitions-committee/news/145767/committee-question-deputy-chief-medical-officer-and-ministers-on-coronavirus-response/

Read letters from the Committee asking further questions of Government Ministers: https://committees.parliament.uk/work/192/the-governments-response-to-coronavirus/publications/

Visit our website to find news and information on other activity in relation to coronavirus and other issues: https://committees.parliament.uk/committee/326/petitions-committee/

You can read impartial analysis of the Government response to coronavirus and policy developments here: https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/coronavirus/

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