Revamp Alcohol Duty System To Boost Hospitality Businesses And Public Health

Hospitality and pub trade bodies UKHospitality and the British Institute of Innkeeping (BII) have called on the Government to revamp and simplify the system of alcohol duty in order to boost businesses and deliver on the Government’s public health initiatives.

The two trade bodies have jointly responded to the Government’s once-in-a-generation review of the alcohol duty system. They have pushed for the development of a new, more flexible, system in order to support economic growth, boost tax revenues and contribute to the Government’s public health agenda.

The submission calls for the system to be revised in order to incentivise consumption in pubs and hospitality businesses.

The trade bodies are calling for a duty discount for draught products and a rebate for bottles or cans sold through hospitality premises. The new system would also simplify the way in which products are taxed with duty increasing with the alcohol by volume of the final product for each drinks category.

In a joint statement, the trade bodies said: “The current system of alcohol duty is a complex beast. There is without doubt scope for reviewing and simplifying it in order to get the best out of it for both businesses and the Exchequer.

“What is absolutely clear is that there should be a separate, discounted rate for alcohol consumed in pubs and hospitality businesses. The benefits of a distinct rate of duty for the on-trade, which has long been advocated for by the sector, are obvious.

“If we are serious about promoting healthier attitudes to alcohol, then it makes sense to incentivise safe and supervised consumption in pubs, bars and the wider hospitality sector.

“A shift in drinking habits away from unsupervised off-trade alcohol to the on-trade would also deliver a tax and employment boost. With the future of the hospitality sector, and indeed the entire UK economy looking perilous, the boost for businesses and their employees would be invaluable.”