New research shows over 1,000 pubs saved by beer duty cuts

By Ellie Bothwell

- Last updated on GMT

A new report estimates that 750m fewer pints would have been sold if beer duty escalator remained
A new report estimates that 750m fewer pints would have been sold if beer duty escalator remained

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The Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has urged the Chancellor to cut beer duty for a historic third time in next month’s Budget.

The call comes as a report published today estimates 1,047 additional pubs would have closed if the government had not scrapped the beer duty escalator and cut beer duty in 2013 and 2014.

The new report, produced by the Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR), also estimates that 750m fewer pints would have been sold in the UK this financial year and 26,000 additional jobs would not have been created if the beer duty escalator had remained in place.

It adds that in 2014 alone, investment in the brewing industry was expected to stand at £61m higher than it would have if the beer duty escalator had been maintained, while the average price of a pint of beer, which currently stands at £3.04, would have cost £3.20.

CAMRA chief executive Tim Page said: “It is fantastic to see that the beer duty cuts have had a real impact on beer drinkers and pub goers across the country, beyond keeping the lid on the price of a pint and keeping pubs open.

“Without these measures fewer people would be able to afford a regular pint in their local pub, and yet more pubs would have closed. Reductions in beer tax have helped keep pubs open, created new jobs and kept increases in the cost of beer at a historic low.

“CAMRA is calling on the Chancellor to keep consumers in mind and cut beer duty for a third time next month. In addition, we would like to see brewers and pub companies pass on this cut in full so that pub-going remains an affordable activity.

“At a time when there is concern about the number of people drinking excessively at home, the importance of pubs as places where you can drink responsibly in a social and community setting cannot be overstated.”

Andrew Griffiths MP and chair of the Parliamentary Beer Group said: “The Chancellor has already shown his commitment to the beer and pub industries by scrapping the beer duty escalator and cutting beer duty for two years in a row for the first time ever. 

“There is more still to be done, however, and I hope that the Chancellor will build on the positive moves so far and make it a hat trick of beer duty cuts in the Budget in March.”

Government response 

Community Pubs Minister Kris Hopkins said: “The Great British Pub is a national treasure which is why we are determined to protect it. Aside from being part of the social and cultural fabric of our nation, pubs also provide thousands of jobs and boost the economy by £21 billion a year.

“That is why we have already abolished the unpopular beer and alcohol duty escalators, cut business taxes for pubs and armed people with the power to list their local as an asset of community value. “I am delighted CAMRA has recognised the positive impact these decisions have had on the beer and pubs industry and welcome the report’s finding that this has created 26,000 new jobs. We will continue working with communities across the country to protect local pubs and to ensure they are working in the best interests of the communities they serve.”

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