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Hospitality sector: mini-budget judged a missed opportunity to help

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theguardian.com

The chancellor’s freeze on alcohol duty has gone down well with the beer industry, but the wider hospitality sector lamented a lack of announcements on help for hard-pressed pubs, restaurants and bars as they wrestle with the cost of living crisis.In a mini-budget that outlined his growth-above-all approach to Britain’s finances, Kwasi Kwarteng froze duty on beer, cider, wine and spirits for a year, as well as pushing ahead with controversial plans to overhaul how the tax is applied.Both measures extend policies implemented by his predecessor Rishi Sunak, although there will be an 18-month “transition” period for changes to duty on wine.

Those changes sparked dismay among port and sherry producers because those penalise higher-alcohol products.Kwarteng also extended his predecessor’s 5% “draught relief”, cutting the duty levied on beer and cider sold in pubs, so that it also covers smaller 20-litre kegs, a measure intended to help craft brewers.

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