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Beer duty to top £337m this month – Despite Covid Closing 85% of Pubs

£337million is expected to be raised in beer duty on beer this December, despite 85 per cent of pubs unable to open their doors.

The staggering sum for December alone is more than the entire annual duty bill in 19 other European countries, according to analysis by campaign group, Long Live The Local.

It said the research highlights the level of UK beer duty in comparison to most other countries in Europe. British beer drinkers pay more than 54p in duty on every pint while in Spain and Germany the beer duty rates amount to just 5p per pint, which means the UK pays 11 times more. Only Finland and Ireland pay higher rates. Last year in total UK drinkers paid £401m in beer duty during December alone, but projections from the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) estimated the impact of covid-19 will reduce sales by 16% for the same month this year.

Last year in total UK drinkers paid a colossal £401 million in beer duty during December alone, but forecasts from the British Beer and Pub Association estimate that the impact of Covid-19 will reduce sales by 16 per cent for the same month this year.

This is impacting on an industry already at breaking point following a devastating year of lockdown closures and severe trading restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19, with further restrictions to be introduced on Boxing Day.

The Long Live The Local campaign is calling on the UK government to cut beer duty in the spring Budget to help pubs and brewers recover from a devastating year that has taken many to the brink of permanent closure. BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “We need the UK government to help our great domestic brewing and pub sector just as governments in Europe support their precious brewing and hospitality sectors.

The Budget in the spring provides an excellent opportunity for our government to show their support for the 2,000 breweries and 47,000 pubs in the UK. A significant cut in beer duty will go some way in helping them recover from a disastrous 2020.”