Beer Duty

A history of duty hikes

Between 2008 and 2013, the beer duty escalator, which increased beer duty automatically by 2% above inflation each year, hugely damaged the beer and pub industry. Tax on beer rose by over 40% with over a third of the price of a pint going straight to the taxman. Over 7,000 pubs closed and 58,000 jobs in the beer and pub industry were lost.

Beer tax breakthrough

The one penny tax cut in Budget 2013 was a turning point for the beer and pub industry. Up to that point, brewers and publicans had suffered six above-inflation duty increases in five years and were left feeling that the Government didn’t appreciate the contribution that this Great British industry makes.

A brighter future?

The 2013, 2014 and 2015 Budgets recognised the unique economic and social value of beer and pubs with an unprecedented hat-trick of beer duty cuts. This was followed by a freeze in the duty rate in 2016. These moves secured thousands of jobs in the sector and boosted investment in pubs by hundreds of millions of pounds. Beer price increases in pubs are at their lowest since the 1980s.

However, after years of above inflation duty increases (between 2008 and 2013 beer duty increased by a staggering 42%), beer is still overtaxed. Britons pay almost 40% of all EU beer duty but only consume 12% of the beer. Even with the recent duty cuts, the industry is under severe pressure. Any future tax increases will curtail renewed ambition, damage jobs and inhibit investment in manufacturing and skills. We want beer to remain affordable for Britain’s 32 million pubgoers. Visit the Cut Beer Tax website to email your MP asking them to support a cut in beer duty.

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