BREAKING NEWS competition inquiry called for by PAS and Forum of British Pubs over Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s summer statement.
Sign our petition and end the unfairness.
The summer statement from the Chancellor on 8th July handed a massive competitive advantage to hospitality businesses who are “food-led” (i.e. set up to run as restaurants). These larger pubs are dominated by chains and pub companies, they are far removed from the much-loved community pub operations and operate with scale built around volume sales, fixed menus, and globally branded products.
A greater number of pubs are the opposite, they are mostly smaller and independently-run hospitality businesses with minimal food sales and are known as “wet-led” (i.e. their sales come predominantly from alcoholic drinks). They also buy the majority of the independent beer from hundreds of British owned microbreweries represented by SIBA (Society of Independent Brewers) – these too are smaller independently run businesses who rely upon wet-led pubs for their route to market.
The reduction in VAT and the 50% discount “eat out to help out” scheme unveiled by Rishi Sunak in his statement is a clear competition issue and has un-leveled the playing field at a critical time for smaller independently run businesses. This move is a massive and unfair “nudge” to consumers, pushing them towards food-led operations which will make wet-led operations unviable and put them out of business, it is likely to hit microbreweries badly too reducing drink choices for consumers.
The return of going out and enjoying hospitality needs to be spread evenly and fairly across the sector, this gift from the chancellor to major businesses over smaller ones is a trigger event and amplifies the manifest unfairness already prevalent in the pub and beer sector. If smaller wet-led community pubs are closed they may never return as pub company owners are cashing in by selling off sites to developers for change of use because they consider your local as unviable.
This petition calls upon the Competition and Markets Authority to launch an inquiry to tackle unfairness in the wholesale beer market as a matter of urgency and restore fair and lawful competition to hospitality and drink businesses, the last inquiry was in 1989 and the sector is long overdue another one.
If you love and support community locals, and independent beer please sign this petition.