Renfrewshire MP, Gavin Newlands, has pledged his support for the Long Live the Local campaign to help pubs in Paisley and Renfrewshire North survive, joining over 500,000 people who have signed the petition so far, including 463 in his constituency.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on brewers and pubs throughout the UK. In 2020 beer sales in pubs fell by 56%, which amounts to £7.8bn in lost sales. The sector needs an immediate boost and the fact that seven in ten alcoholic drinks served in pubs are beer underlines how directly a cut in beer duty can help pubs.

Brewing and pubs in Paisley and Renfrewshire North supports 896 jobs and contributes £22.7m to the local economy. With £1 in every £3 pounds spent in UK pubs going to the taxman, British drinkers pay more in beer duty each year than those in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Ireland combined.

Gavin said: “Pubs are at the heart of communities across Renfrewshire, but with pubs bearing a disproportionate burden as a result of the pandemic the Government should consider a cut to beer tax. I’m supporting the Long Live the Local campaign and calling on the Chancellor to cut beer tax at this year’s Budget to support pubs in our local communities.”

David Cunningham, Programme Director, Long Live The Local said: “Beer duty has increased by 60% over the last 17 years and now the UK has one of the highest rates of tax in Europe. When over two thirds of all alcoholic drinks purchased in the pub are beers, a cut in beer tax would go a long way to protecting pubs across Paisley and Renfrewshire North that have suffered so much in the last year.

“We are very grateful to Gavin Newlands MP for their support for the Long Live the Local campaign, and hope that the Government listens to MPs across Parliament and the thousands of people across the country who are calling for a cut in beer tax to protect our pubs.”

Long Live the Local is a campaign backed by Britain’s Beer Alliance. The campaign celebrates the positive role of pubs and highlights the challenges they face, specifically a tax burden which is set to grow year on year. The Alliance consists of independent pubs, pub companies, regional, independent, and international breweries. In addition, 25,000 pubs have actively supported the campaign.

Further information about the Long Live the Local campaign can be found via www.longlivethelocal.pub.