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Policy implications of the General Election

On 14/05/15 by Andy Tighe (Policy Director)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, my first thought about the election result was what does it mean for beer and pubs?

There was a sense of relief on beer duty unlikely to be an immediate target for more revenue and generally the government being likely to continue to pursue a deregulation agenda.

On other taxes, the ambition on the scale of businesses rates reform may not be as wide-ranging as some would like but certainly offers opportunity. However, the price tag and preference for tax simplification mean a reduction in Vat for the hospitality sector remains a big a challenge as ever.

Very little was said pre-election on alcohol policy and we would like to see a continuation of the Responsibility Deal and all stakeholders working together to focus on targeted and effective measures to tackle alcohol-related harm without penalising responsible drinkers and well run pubs. Jane Ellison's reappointment as a very pragmatic Public Health minister is welcome in that sense.

On pub company legislation, the forward strategy announcements by Enterprise Inns this week again demonstrates how Government intervention in a highly competitive market can have quite far-reaching implications. We will need to work hard to ensure enactment of the Pubs Code through secondary legislation provides a workable and proportionate solution for all parties.

To finish on a positive note, the new Cabinet and other ministerial positions contain a significant number of our beer champions and I’m sure they’ll live up to their illustrious award.


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