The Beer Story: Facts on tap
The truth behind taxes, jobs and the future of the industry.
Why do beer and pubs matter?
Beer is a major British product and a major tax contributor. There are now over 1,000 breweries in the UK
Beer and pubs contribute £19bn to UK GDP and generate £10bn 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 support 1 million UK jobs. 46% of those employed in the sector are 16-24 year olds.
The beer and pub sector is working with the Government to reduce alcohol abuse.
Harmful drinking has nearly halved in the last decade to 4% of the population. Alcohol consumption has fallen by 13% since 2004.
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 almost 32 million adults.
Bringing people together
Pubs are places where people socialise, relax and make connections. It's the original social network. The pub is the focal point of any community, playing a unique role in national life.
Vibrant small businesses
Pubs inject an average of £80,000 into their local economy and pay £66,500 in beer tax every year. Nearly 90% of pubs are community or rural pubs, bringing employment to much needed areas of the UK - these small businesses are vital to the economy.
Providing community services
Many pubs provide a range of important public services including post offices, local shops and broadband internet access. They also hold a variety of community events and activities such as live music that add to local culture.
Promoting responsible drinking
Pubs are supervised environments and take responsible drinking seriously. The industry invests millions in Drinkaware, Best Bar None, Pubwatch and Challenge 21.
Bitter tax facts
Beer Duty Escalator: Over the top
In 2008 the Government made a commitment to above-inflation duty increases on beer. This is known as the beer duty escalator and is in place until 2014/15. As a result of the escalator, the average pub pint now costs £3.10.
Beer duty escalator: going nowhere
Beer duty is now so high that demand has gone down. Pubs sell a billion fewer pints per year since the introduction of the escalator. With the escalator set to rise again in 2013/14, the net effect could result in a £2million loss to the Treasury.
UK has higher beer duty than all its EU neighbours
Massive differences in duty contribute to fraud, which damages the UK economy. Britons pay 40% of the EU beer tax bill, but only consume 13% of the beer sold in Europe.
What should Government do?
1. Freeze beer duty
It's time to recognise the economic and social value of the Great British beer and pub industry. A pint in a pub should not be an unaffordable luxury.
2. Scrap the escalator
Beer tax has risen by 42% since its introduction in March 2008, making further rises unsustainable. Total beer tax revenues are now flat, as beer sales have dropped and consumer incomes have fallen.
3. Rebalance alcohol taxation
The Government should use the tax system to encourage consumers towards lower-strength, British-made drinks.