Campaigns. It is important that I continue to know the strength of feeling on an issue and I prefer to respond to every inquiry, but the sheer size of campaign correspondence means that it is hard to justify to the tax payer the cost and time taken for individual written replies, so regrettably I will no longer reply to every item of campaign correspondence.  I will  post a response to the campaign on the "Responses to campaigns" page of my website.

I am sorry to do this, as it is rather impersonal, but can see no other way of maintaining a good service for all my constituents unless I approach campaigns this way.

10 MAR 2017

Business Rates and Community Pubs

Thank you very much for taking the time to email me about beer duty and business rates.

I understand your concern on this matter and hope the following information on this topic from the Treasury is of interest:

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 unpresented 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. Duty on spirits and most ciders has also be frozen.
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 is also encouraging. 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.
The Chancellor continues to keep all taxes under review and decisions on tax policy are made as part of the Budget process.

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