Stephen Crabb has backed a campaign to support independent brewers and community pubs in Pembrokeshire in the Chancellor’s Spring Budget.

The Preseli Pembrokeshire MP supported a Parliamentary event this week calling for the Chancellor to Make it 20% and increase the Draught Relief to 20 per cent in his Budget on March 6. 

Draught Relief allows a lower rate of alcohol duty to apply to beer that’s sold in pubs rather than in supermarkets. Currently, Draught Relief is set at 9.2 per cent, but a more substantial 20 per cent rate could encourage more people to support their local community pubs by making sure tax on draught beer is 20% lower than the general rate of duty on the likes of supermarket alcohol.

This campaign comes as the sector continues to face intense pressure from energy prices and cost increases with hundreds of pubs being forced to close last year.

The event was organised by the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA), the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) and the Independent Family Brewers of Britain (IFBB) and enabled Members of Parliament to engage with the views of local brewers and industry specialists to discuss the way that the government taxes beer.

At the Autumn Statement last year the Chancellor decided to freeze beer duty until August 1. This means he’s due to make a decision on beer duty from the summer in his Spring Budget.

Stephen Crabb MP said:  

“Our independent Pembrokeshire breweries like Bluestone Brewing Company, Old Farm House Brewery and Harbwr Brewery, and local pubs are a key part of the community. I’m proud of the contribution they make to the local economy in Pembrokeshire.

“At a time when the brewing and pub sector is under enormous pressure, it is right that the Government considers what it can do to help and increasing Draught Relief to 20 per cent would give it the boost it needs. This is why I’m supporting the Make It 20% campaign and calling on the Chancellor to consider increasing the Draught Relief in his Budget in March.” 

Tom Stainer, Chief Executive of CAMRA, added: 

“We know that pubs are at the heart of communities across Pembrokeshire, bringing people together and helping to tackle loneliness and social isolation. CAMRA members will be delighted that Stephen Crabb is working to make sure that consumers, pubs and local breweries get the support they need to survive and thrive.”