Calls For Chancellor To Cut Beer Duty By 50%

Trade organisations and spokesperson representing the licensed-on trade, operators and beer drinkers are calling on the Chancellor to cut in duty paid on beer sold on draught at the pump in the UK’s pubs.

A coalition of industry trade bodies has written to chancellor, Rishi Sunak, calling for duty on draught beer sold in pubs to be halved, which will save drinkers and average 21p a pint, stimulate job growth and save pubs from potential ruin this summer.

The signatories include the Society of Independent Brewers (SIBA) Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) and UKHospitality (UKH).

The reduction would be limited to pubs, bars, and taprooms, who have been forced to close during the pandemic, as opposed to supermarkets who have continued to operate throughout lockdown, while the hospitality and on trade sector, as well as breweries were forced to pour beer down the drain.

A significant duction in duty of approximately 50% on draught beer duty would encourage people to drink in the pub, creating thousands of jobs in Britain’s pubs and brewing industry, and could mean a saving of over £15,000 for the average pub.

A cut would also lead to a “Brexit bonus” for the UK’s beleaguered pubs and drinkers, since EU directives previously banned countries from charging a different rate for beer sold on draught in pubs compared to beer sold in bottles and cans in supermarkets. British drinkers pay 54p in duty on a pint of 5% beer, whereas some countries in the EU hey as little as 4p

According to CAMRA, the average price of a pint in a pub is £3.36, compared to just £1.34 from a supermarket. A pint of draught beer or lager is something that cannot be replicated at home and is what makes Britain’s pubs so special.

Eighty per cent of all drinks sold in Britain’s pubs are beer, so a specific duty cut for draught beer and lager will help secure the future of these national treasures and the local brewers who supply them. Pubs in Britain pay an average of £142,000 a year in taxes, with one pound in every three spent in pubs going on tax.

James Calder, chief executive of SIBA, said: “The majority of beer produced by the UK’s independent brewers is sold into pubs. A lower duty rate for draught beer would support the government’s levelling up agenda by investing into communities, supporting wet-led pubs struggling to recover from the pandemic, and brewers, and securing the employment of thousands in hospitality, particularity amongst young people.”

Tom Stainer, chief executive of CAMRA, added: “Even prior to covid, beer drinkers were seeing too many of their favourite locals closed for good. A cut in duty on draught beer is the perfect way to help them recover post-covid, as well as encouraging customers to return to the pub, where they can enjoy not only locally-brewed beer, but all the social benefits of drinking in their local with friends and family.”

Chief Executive of UKHospitality Kate Nicholls said the government’s creator regime which takes into account the benefits of the out of home sector, she said: “The last year has been horrific for the pub and hospitality sector. Reducing draught beer duty would be a critical signal, helping us create jobs and generate sustainable economic growth”.