Autumn budget statement from our Chief Executive, Kevin Georgel

D espite the news that business rates relief will be extended for hospitality, and increase to 75%, today’s autumn statement does not go far enough to safeguard our industry for the long-term.

"We welcome the fact the Chancellor has acknowledged the need to make changes to the current business rates system, as reform is now critical. Pubs and breweries are desperately struggling with rising prices and growing uncertainty, while continuing to be burdened by an outdated and punitive tax regime.

However, the failure to provide any further relief for our industry today will hit pubs, breweries, and their customers extremely hard this winter as we plunge even further into the cost-of-living crisis. There was no announcement about reducing the rate of VAT and no further details were given on the planned increase in alcohol duty, or to what degree energy costs will increase early next year.

Inevitably this means that business owners - including our 140 tenants across the South West - will be forced to make difficult decisions without any clarity about what lies ahead. Many licensees will have no choice but to increase their costs or close their pubs this winter which will have a devastating impact on communities, in our region and beyond.

Pubs and breweries have stood at the heart of these communities for centuries. Now, more than ever, we need investment in our industry which has the potential to play a big role in generating revenue for the country. We want to support the government’s mission to level up every single part of the UK, but we need further support to allow us to do that.”