Back our local Pubs and Bars!
Over the last couple of weeks I have been around to quite a few bars and pubs to speak to customers and landlords. On Sunday I found myself in Berrynarbor, Combe Martin, Challacombe and Lynton. Prior to that I have been in Georgeham, Ilfracombe and Barnstaple. One of the issues from landlords has been about what I as an MP can do to support them.
For a start a Conservative majority Government will introduce a new wave of business rates cuts for small businesses. We will expand the retail discount to 50 per cent and we will introduce a new additional £1,000 relief to support pubs. Together, these two reliefs will cut business rates for the average pub in England by £9,750. Pubs are at the centre of local communities across our nation and we are determined to back them by cutting their costs. This is on top of the steps we have taken to date to cut beer duty.
One of the specific issues I have been challenged on is how licensed premises are struggling to compete with off licence prices. This is as much to do with tax as it is to do with running and staffing costs. We could look at increasing the minimum pricing for alcohol and I am sure that this will be looked at. But I however favour a VAT cut for the hotel, hospitality and food and beverage industry.
If elected this will be something that I will be lobbying for. It will be a huge benefit to North Devon tourism and encourage people to go out and eat and drink in some of the wonderful bars, pubs and restaurants that we have in North Devon.
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