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New figures show UK beer sales down a billion pints since Beer Tax escalator


New figures show that pubs are now selling a billion fewer pints of beer per year since the introduction of the Beer Duty Escalator in March 2008. As reported in today’s Sunday People and Sunday Mirror newspapers, regions in the North and Wales have been particularly badly hit, according to the figures compiled by analysts CGA Strategy and released today by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA).

The Beer Duty Escalator has seen Beer Tax rise by 42 per cent in four years. Worst hit areas for beer sales in pubs include the North West (down 27 per cent) the Midlands (down 28 per cent) and Wales, (down 29 per cent). The controversial policy is also costing around 5,000 jobs per year, mostly younger people in Britain’s pubs.

CGA’s Chief Operating Officer Phil Tate comments: “Without doubt the duty escalator has made an already challenging trading environment ever more difficult. It has contributed to a loss of one in five pints for pubs across Great Britain. Wales and Lancashire have been hit hardest hit with over one on four pints being lost. Even London has not been immune, seeing volumes fall by 17 per cent.”

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, adds:

“This is yet more evidence of the damage done by a 42 per cent beer tax hike since 2008. It is simply astonishing that further big increases are planned. If the Government wants jobs and growth in what is a key part of the economy, the Treasury must now tackle this issue.”

Notes to editors:

The British Beer & Pub Association is the UK’s leading organisation representing the brewing and pub sector. Its members account for 96 per cent of the beer brewed in the UK and own half of Britain’s 51,000 pubs.

Regional decline in pub beer sales, year ending March 2008, to year ending October 2012

Wales -28.5%
Midlands -27.6%
North West -27.4%
North East -24.3%
South West -21.6%
Scotland -19.9%
Yorkshire -17.8%
London -17.0%
East Anglia -16.3%
South East +1.8%


Beer Duty, Pubs

For further information contact:

Neil Williams
Head of Media
Tel: 020 7627 9156 / 07974 249 779

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