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61,000 jobs in Scotland behind every Christmas pint – Scottish Business News

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SCOTS raising a Christmas pint should enjoy the taste of supporting 61,000 local jobs in breweries, bars and supply chains which pay almost £1 billion in wages and contribute £1.7 billion to the economy, data from the Scottish Beer and Pub Association (SBPA) reveals.

The SBPA’s Long Live the Local campaign is shining a light on the nearly one million people behind the pint who make the festive season merry. 

As Scottish pubgoers raise a local brew, they support thousands of jobs across the country: including farmers growing hops, brewers developing new recipes, scientists working on quality control and logistics teams managing deliveries.

‘The local’ is often the heart of community life and a major source of local employment and economic growth. Its social value is most apparent at Christmas, bringing people together and combatting loneliness during the festive season. Recent YouGov polling in Scotland found:

  • 69% of people feel pubs have a positive effect in communities
  • 78% say pubs are important in bringing people together
  • 60% think pubs help combat loneliness in their local area

Pubs and brewers have faced major increases to their costs over the last few years while struggling to limit price rises. The Autumn Statement provided vital support with an extension to business rates relief and the freeze on beer duty, but the next budget must provide surer footing for brewers and pubs by:

  1. Cutting tax on beer in the next Budget and pledging to bring beer duty down to the European average over the course of the next Parliament. The EU average duty on a pint of beer is currently 20p, whereas in the UK it is 54p for draught beer and 59p for packaged beer
  2. Reforming business rates so pubs and brewers can invest in the future, with the 75% relief maintained and a cap to the planned increase in the 2024 business rates multiplier until this is implemented
  3. Lowering VAT rate to 12.5% for pubs to help publicans and customers with cost of living increases

The Long Live the Local campaign invites Scots to buy an extra round this Christmas to support the people behind the pint and join the campaign to secure the future of their local.

Craig Macleod, owner of Innes Bar in Inverness, says:

“There aren’t too many places where 18 and 80-year-olds come together to share a pint and connect. I love creating experiences that bring people together and we pride ourselves on being a hub for the community. We do a lot for charity as well. Right now we’re preparing for our annual Santa’s Grotto, which raised £1,200 pounds for the local food bank last year.

“As a business, we’ve weathered a lot of storms over the past few years with the energy price rises and the cost of living hitting people’s pockets. We’re very lucky to still be here and going strong when so many other venues have had to close their doors. That would be a real loss for the community, as there’s nowhere else people can go to experience that sense of togetherness.”

Emma McClarkin, CEO of the Scottish Beer and Pub Association, said:

“So many of life’s milestones are marked by sharing a beer, whether in commiseration or joy. Behind the glass, there are nearly a million people across the cities and regions who make this possible: including brewers, technicians, delivery drivers, farmers and the pub staff at the counter.

“The great British pint is woven into the fabric of our communities, economies and regional identities. Local pubs are some of our most beloved tourist attractions, while our breweries produce some of the finest beers in the world.

“But the industry needs our support to survive. Scotland remains one of the most expensive places in the world to have a pint, with beer duty more than double the average across Europe. The next Parliament must make bringing beer duty in line with Europe a priority – taking at least 34 pence off the price of a pint – as well as reforming business rates so that brewers and pubs can continue investing in the future, providing quality jobs and training for people across the country.”

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