Dear Constituent,

Thank you for contacting me about pubs.

I am a passionate supporter of pubs and believe that they are fundamental to our way of life in this country. They also play a crucial role in the economic life of our nation, as well in helping to promote responsible drinking. I'm encouraged by the support which has made available to pubs and our manifesto commitment to further cut taxes for small businesses.

Through the Asset of Community Value scheme, communities can list facilities of local importance, including pubs. This means that if a pub owner wishes to sell up, the community has six months to come up with a plan and funding in order to try to save it. I am glad that there are now around 2,000 pubs across England listed as assets of community value.

To further support pubs, a freeze on beer, cider, and spirit duties was announced last year, a decision which I welcome. The Spring Budget 2017 also provided a £1,000 discount on business rates bills in 2017 for pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000 – 90 per cent of pubs in England – and I was pleased to see this extended in the Autumn Budget 2017 for a further year, through to March 2019.

You may be interested to know that a one-third discount to business rates for pubs and bars with a rateable values below £51,000 was introduced in 2018 and has now been increased to a 50 per cent discount for 2020-21. On top of this, as many as 18,000 pubs are expected to benefit from the new Pubs Relief set to be introduced this April, which will take £1,000 off the business rates bills of qualifying small pubs.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.