More than 100 MPs call on government to halt pub closures

More than 100 MPs have now thrown their support behind an Early Day Motion (EDM) in Parliament that calls on the government to reduce the tax burden on pubs in order to halt closures.

The EDM was tabled by Labour MP Toby Perkins, who is chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Pubs.

It recognises recent changes in planning law and taxation to help the industry but also asks for more to be done to help pubs and calls on the government to take further steps to support pubs, reduce the tax burden and “enshrine the valuable role the great British pub plays in UK society”.

The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) claimed partial credit for the backing the EDM has received, after mobilising thousands of its members to encourage MPs to show their support for pubs.

Perkins said: “Pubs play an incredibly important role both in our social fabric and our local economies, and so it is great that so many MPs are showing their support.

“There is concern that the overall burden of tax on our pubs is excessive and MPs across the house will continue to make the case to do more to support this crucial sector.”

CAMRA’s national chairman Jackie Parker said: “We know that 18 pubs are being forced to close each week and we welcome the EDM calling for more support for pubs, and the backing from those MPs who have signed it already.

“A number of factors contribute to these closures, including a ‘triple tax whammy’ of high beer duty, business rates and VAT. It is only by changing government policy on key issues that we will be able to protect the British pub, and ensure it remains at the very heart of our communities.

“We would urge all MPs to consider signing this EDM.”

EDMs are formal motions submitted for debate in the House of Commons, although very few are actually debated and they are normally used by MPs to draw attention to an event or cause.

In an average parliamentary session, only six of seven reach over 200 signatures, with 70 or 80 getting over 100. There is no rule that dictates how many signatures are needed before an EDM leads to a debate.

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