Some constituents have sent me campaign emails about beer duty and business rates.

I recognise the important contribution that pubs make to their local communities, and I welcome the Government's efforts to support this through the taxation system.

At the 2017 Spring Budget, tax on beer will only increase by RPI inflation this year, in line with previous forecasts. This follows the removal of the beer duty escalator in 2013 and the unprecedented freeze in beer duty.

The Scottish whisky industry is a national success story, with exports of over £4 billion per year making up a fifth of UK food and drink exports. Local cider breweries also play a similarly vital role supporting rural communities. I am therefore heartened to see that duty on spirits and most ciders has also be frozen.

I am also encouraged by the introduction of a £1,000 discount on business rates bills in 2017 for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000. This applies to 90 per cent of pubs and is in recognition of the valuable service they provide to our communities. Additionally, at the Budget the Chancellor also announced a £300 million fund for local authorities to deliver discretionary relief to target individual hard cases in their local areas.


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