WSTA Calls On Government To Halt £1bn Pubs Tax Raid

British pubs are facing a tax raid of £1 billion over the next five years, according to new research from the Wine and Spirit Trade Association (WSTA).

Figures from the Office of Budget Responsibility show that the Government plans to increase alcohol duty by over 3% a year for each year of this Parliament, a cumulative rise of 18% up to 2022 which could see every pub landlord across Britain hit with an additional duty bill of £4,374 each in that time.

The Wine and Spirit Trade Association has calculated that the Government’s planned changes will push pubs’ duty bill for wine and spirits alone up by an additional £110m a year by 2022.

The plans mean that pubs will have to find an additional £333m a year in duty payments by the end of the Parliament, on top of the nearly £2 billion a year that already goes to the Treasury.

This added burden on publicans could threaten pubs with closure, the WSTA argues. 29 pubs are already closing each week according to figures from consumer organisation the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA).

The WSTA has written to Communities Secretary Sajid Javid, who has overall responsibility for pubs, to outline its concerns as the Government continues to press ahead with plans to increase duty rates instead of supporting Britain’s pubs.

Miles Beale, Chief Executive of the Wine and Spirit Trade Association, said:

“The Government really needs to think again – the planned tax rises are potentially very damaging for British pubs. Higher duty rates means less money in the pocket of pub landlords, and unless the Government acts, publicans will have to fork out over £4,000 extra each by the end of this Parliament.

“Our research shows that wine and spirits contribute nearly a third to a landlord’s alcohol income. The Government should be supporting landlords, not punishing them, and the best way to do that is to axe planned duty rises on all alcoholic drinks.”