British beer tax accounts for 40% of European tax bill

By Michelle Perrett

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Brewing industry, Brewing, Beer, Malt

British beer tax accounts for 40% of European tax bill
British beer tax accounts for 40% of the entire European beer tax bill, claims a new report from accountancy firm Ernst & Young.

The figures, commissioned by the European brewing industry, revealed that despite accounting for just 13% of consumption the UK beer tax bill is now £3.2bn per year – over five times that of Germany, where drink twice as much beer as Brits.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “This new report shows the astonishing scale of the tax burden that the UK government is putting on our brewing industry, which remains one of the most important in Europe.

“With 40% of all European beer taxes collected in Britain, the figures point starkly at the key cause of the thousands of pubs and many breweries that have closed in Britain in recent years.

“And yet our sector has so much potential to create vital jobs in the hospitality industry. The UK treasury must take a very close look at these findings, and call a halt to further tax hikes.”

The figures also showed that the UK has the second highest number of breweries in Europe, topped only by Germany.
Other facts in the report include:
* In total the UK Government raises £9.2bn from the production and sale of beer, £3.2bn of which is excise duty
* The UK exports 6.8m hectolitres (1.2 billion pints) of beer per year
* The UK has the second highest level of malting barley production in the EU
* The UK brewing industry leads to 37,000 jobs in agriculture, transport, packaging, marketing and other industries
* British drinkers are drinking more beer out of the home than any other nation

Related topics: Beer, Legislation

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