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Independent Brewers criticise two pence rise in beer tax

The Society of Independent Brewers has reacted to the Budget. Credit: PA

The Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) has criticised plans announced in the Budget for a two pence rise in beer tax.

SIBA welcomed a £1000 reduction in business rates for pubs which it said would help to "support" the sector, but added that "more needs to be done" to counter the rise in beer duty.

The £1000 reduction in business rates for pubs with a rateable value below £100,000 is welcome support for the sector, although much more needs to be done.

But this contrasts sharply with the two pence increase on beer tax which is a blow for the millions of people who enjoy a pint of British beer in their local pub and also for Britain's 1,800 small brewing businesses across the country.

We called for local brewers and community pubs to be supported with a cut in beer duty to build confidence, enable investment and create jobs in light of increasing costs and uncertainty, but the Chancellor's decision will be a setback.

– Mike Benner, SIBA Managing Director

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First £1bn in social care funding 'available right now'

The first £1bn in extra funding for social care in England will be available "right now", ITV News Social Affairs Editor Penny Marshall has said.

Chancellor Philip Hammond's big announcement in Wednesday's Spring Budget was an additional £2bn over three years to help ease the pressure on social care.

The money, with £1 billion promised in 2017/18, follows intense pressure from MPs and councils, but falls short of the levels of funding demanded by some campaigners.

Penny Marshall said: "I've been able to establish that the £1bn is available right now, so for those struggling councils they will be able to commission care packages.

"It's going to hold them over until the better care fund comes into place, so there is some light, temporary light, at the end of the tunnel."

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