Concern over duty rises to set minimum price

By Ewan Turney

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Minimum price, Alcoholic beverage, European union, Government

Simmonds: beer drinkers already pay enough tax
Simmonds: beer drinkers already pay enough tax
Concerns have been raised that the Government will use duty rises as a way of setting a minimum price for alcohol. It comes as the Government opted...

Concerns have been raised that the Government will use duty rises as a way of setting a minimum price for alcohol.

It comes as the Government opted to ban sales of alcohol below the cost of duty plus VAT.

But some in the pub trade are concerned duty will now be used as a way to increase the price of a drink despite taxes on alcohol already being 11 times higher than in Germany, 10 times higher than in Spain and eight times higher than in France.

The British Beer and Pub Association said British beer drinkers account for 40% of the entire duty bill in the European Union.

UK beer drinkers are paying £3.1bn out of an EU total of £7.7bn in beer duty revenues.

In addition, some countries, such as Italy, Portugal, and Spain, have lower tax rates for pubs, bars and restaurants to help their hospitality industries and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on them.

"Our already high taxes show that duty-plus-VAT cannot be used as a proxy for a minimum price for alcohol," said BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds.

"This would have a particularly devastating effect on pubs.

"When it comes to tacking alcohol misuse, what we need most is improved alcohol education and awareness, and tougher, targeted enforcement of the huge range of existing laws. Pubs need lower taxes - and less red tape."

 

Related topics: Legislation

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