Why do beer and pubs matter?
Beer is a British product and a major tax contributor. There are now over 1,400 breweries in the UK
Beer and pubs contribute £22bn to UK GDP and generate £13bn in tax revenue.
The production and sale of beer creates jobs in agriculture, brewing, pubs and the wider supply chain.
In total the beer and pub sector supports almost 900,000 jobs. 46% of those employed in the sector are 16-24 year olds.
Government challenged the industry to remove 1 billion units of alcohol from the market by 2015. By reducing the strength of existing products and introducing great-tasting lower strength brands, brewers alone have already removed 1.2 billion units.
UK alcohol consumption has decreased by 18% since 2004. Harmful and underage drinking have also fallen sharply.
Pubs at the heart of the community
Beer supports pubs
At the heart of every pub is beer, mostly British-brewed, often locally. Beer is enjoyed by millions of UK adults. Keeping pints affordable is the best way to support community pubs.
Bringing people together
Pubs play a unique role in national life. Friends are made and communities come together in pubs. Almost 1 billion pub meals are sold annually.
Vibrant small businesses
Pubs boost local economies by an average of £80,000 per year. Around 80% are community or rural pubs, bringing jobs to parts of the UK that need them most.
Providing community services
Many pubs run vital public services such as post offices, local shops and broadband internet access, as well as putting on community events and cultural activities.
A partnership approach
Pubs provide safe, supervised drinking environments. Pubs, the police and local authorities work together to tackle alcohol misuse.
Ambassadors for Britain
For our tourism industry, pubs are a leading attraction and contribute to positive perceptions of the UK. The Government features pubs in its global GREAT Britain promotional campaign.
Glass half full
The beer duty escalator (2008-2013) meant beer tax increased by a staggering 42%. This caused immense damage to the sector and squeezed the pockets of ordinary people.
Beer duty is particularly regressive, hitting those on lowest incomes the hardest.
|An escalating problem from 2008-2013|
|* Beer duty increased by 42%|
|* Beer duty revenues increased by only 12%|
|* Beer consumption fell by 16%|
|* 7,000 pubs closed|
|* 58,000 jobs were lost|
The decision to scrap the escalator and cut beer duty by 1p at the 2013 Budget was cheered by pubs and Britain's 32 million beer drinkers.
A second consecutive cut in 2014 has restored business confidence and a brighter future for UK pubs.
Pennies off duty - pounds in pockets
The sector has worked hard to pass on recent duty savings, helping people to afford a hard-earned pint at the end of their day.
Beer price increases in pubs are at their lowest since the 1980s
A taxing problem
Room for improvement
The 2013 and 2014 Budgets recognised the unique economic and social value of beer and pubs.
But, after years of above inflation duty increases, beer is still overtaxed. In 2013 Britons paid almost 40% of all EU beer duty but only consumed 12 of the beer.
It will take many years to undo the impact of the beer duty escalator.
The planned 2.1% beer duty increase in the 2015 Budget will undermine last year's 2% cut for British consumers.
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.
What next? A further cut in beer duty would:
Ensure a pint in the pub remains an affordable pleasure for the millions of beer drinkers and pub-goers
Secure 1000s of additional jobs
Continue to rebalance alcohol taxation and encourage people towards lower-strength, British-made drinks
Be popular with supporters of all political parties