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I'm writing to you today because our pubs are under threat. Pubs are at the heart of British culture and play a vital role in communities across the country. However, many of these pubs are closing, leaving villages, towns and cities without a vital public place where people can socialise.

Pubs are facing a range of tax pressures, including Beer Duty, Business rates and VAT, and today one in every three pounds spent in a pub goes straight to the taxman. That amounts to an average of £140,000 per pub per year.

7 out of 10 alcoholic drinks sold in a pub are beers, so Beer Duty clearly has a big impact on local pubs. The UK has one of the highest Beer Duty rates in the EU, three times the average. We pay almost 40% of all Beer Duty across the EU, whilst drinking only 12% of the beer. In fact British Beer Duty is 12 times more than certain other European countries.

The beer and pub industry contributes greatly to our economy, generating £23bn towards UK GDP each year and supporting over 900,000 jobs. 44% of those employed by pubs are 16-24 year olds, providing vital job opportunities for young people.

We should be supporting our pubs and the wider brewing industry, it's a sector we should be proud of and helping to thrive, not squeezing for as much tax as possible. A cut in beer tax could even pay for itself through keeping pubs open and a boost in taxes from higher employment.

I urge you to write to the Chancellor and ask for a cut in Beer Tax instead of the planned rise, to support our pubs and keep them thriving.

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