I WELCOME the news that the Government has frozen duty on beer, cider and spirits for another year.

The freeze on duty means that many alcoholic drinks have avoided rises in the tax paid, saving up to 30p on the price of a bottle of gin. Beer duty in the UK is among the highest in Europe, but this freeze will help keep the UK pub sector competitive.

Wealden is home to 78 pubs and six breweries, supporting almost 1,500 jobs and contributing more than £30 million to the Wealden economy.

Over the summer, I ran a competition inviting Wealden residents to nominate their favourite pub for the Parliamentary Pub of the Year Awards, attracting more than 30 nominations, with the Rose and Crown in Mayfield the top choice.

The brewing and pub sector in Wealden is a dynamic and vibrant part of the local economy, rich in history and often the centre-piece of our communities. The response to my competition to nominate your favourite pub was testament to the value we place on our fantastic pubs – and rightly so.

It’s great news the Government has frozen duty on beer, cider and spirits. This will help support our pubs and generate more jobs, many of which go to young people, and put more money back into the local economy. But I was disappointed there was nothing to support our thriving sparkling wine industry. I will continue to work with my colleagues to make sure that we do everything we can to support this vital part of our community.”

Nus Ghani is Conservative MP for Wealden