Joanna Cherry, QC, MP, pledged her support for the Long Live the Local campaign to help pubs and breweries in Edinburgh recover and thrive.

Ms Cherry joined over 125,000 people who have signed the petition so far.

The Edinburgh South West MP is calling on the UK Government to lower VAT for pubs and for an overall reduction in Beer Duty.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a detrimental effect on brewers and pubs throughout Scotland and continues to do so as the sector tries to recover. The campaign says that the sector needs an immediate boost. A local pub is estimated to add £100,000 to the local economy, creates jobs and acts as a social hub, which underlines how direct investment in the form of lower VAT and an overall cut to beer duty could help pubs and their communities to recover. It would also boost Edinburgh’s world class brewing sector.

Brewing and pubs in Edinburgh South West support 1048 jobs and contributes £35 million to the local economy.

Campaigners say that £1 in every £3 spent in UK pubs is paid in taxes, and claim that drinkers and pub goers are overtaxed which is hampering the recovery of local pubs and Scotland’s brewers.

Ms Cherry said: “My Edinburgh South West constituency is home to fantastic breweries like the Caledonian and the Edinburgh Beer Factory along with the UK headquarters of Heineken and many great pubs. Pubs are at the heart of communities and the tourist industry across Edinburgh.

“Pubs have born a disproportionate burden as a result of the pandemic and the Scottish Government has given 100% business rates relief for the hospitality industry until at least March 2022. The UK Government should consider cutting unfair taxes on pubs that are hampering their recovery. I’m supporting the Long Live the Local campaign and calling on the UK Chancellor to lower VAT for pubs and reduce Beer Duty overall at this year’s Budget to support the recovery of pubs.”