Beer duty action supported by 72% - but 18% want hike

By Oli Gross contact

- Last updated on GMT

Beer duty action supported by 72% - but 18% want hike

Related tags: Beer tax, Public house, Taxation, United kingdom

The campaign to cut beer duty has the backing of the public with 72% supporting either a freeze or reduction in tax.

A YouGov poll found the overwhelming majority wanted to see a drop or no rise in beer tax, compare to just 18% who supported a tax hike to raise money for the Government.

The poll, conducted for the British Beer and Pub Association, also found that more than a third (37%) believed the amount of beer tax paid in Britain is unfair, compared with just one in five (20%) who thought it fair and the rest were undecided.

The campaign for a beer duty cut has been under scrutiny in the past week, with some operators describing the BBPA’s actions​ as ‘morally flawed’.

But the trade association dismissed the criticisms​ as ‘totally contradicted by the evidence’.


But the poll could throw further weight behind the campaign. It also found that those who believed beer tax to be unfair was higher for older age groups and those living in the Midlands, Wales and North of England.

More than 40% believed beer tax in Britain was unfair compared to fewer than 20% who thought it was fair.

There was also some lack of knowledge regarding UK beer tax rates compared to elsewhere in Europe. UK beer duty rates are on average three times higher than EU rates, and 13 times higher than in the largest beer market, Germany.

Whilst 57% correctly believed UK beer tax was higher than in most countries in Europe, 18% believed it was the same or less, and one-quarter stated they did not know.

'Keep up the good work'

Brigid Simmonds, BBPA Chief Executive, said: “This new poll shows the public understands how important pubs are to local people, and how a penny off a pint is the simplest and best way to give pubs a boost.

“George Osborne has been in tune with the public so far, with his three beer tax cuts saving pubgoers millions. He can keep up the good work, with another penny off a pint in the Budget.”

The poll was conducted by YouGov using a sample size of 1,736 adults, with fieldwork taking place 21-22 January.

Related topics: Beer

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