CAMRA report: 1.3 billion fewer pints sold by 2020 with no beer duty cut

By Oli Gross contact

- Last updated on GMT

CAMRA report: 1.3 billion fewer pints sold by 2020 with no beer duty cut

Related tags: Beer duty, Beer

A decision not to cut beer duty in the Budget would lead to pub closures, reduced investment and 1.3 billion fewer pints sold by 2020, according to latest research.

The report by the Centre for Economics & Business Research​ (Cebr), commissioned by the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA), supports a campaign for George Osborne to make a fourth successive cut this year.

The Government is currently committed to raise beer duty in line with inflation, but CAMRA called for a 1p cut on 16 March and a freeze over the remaining four years of this Parliament.

According to the report, this would lead to:

  • The creation of an additional 13,000 jobs in pubs and bars
  • An additional £75 million investment in the brewing industry
  • Close to 550 pubs saved from closure
  • 1.3 billion more pints sold

The report also outlines the differences between European countries - the UK pays nearly 40% of all beer duty collected in the EU, yet provides just less than an eighth of the consumption.

Economist at the Cebr, Sam Alderson, said: “Three consecutive cuts to duty have helped to stem the decline of the British beer industry, saving over 1,000 pubs and supporting more than 26,000 additional jobs.

“However, with challenges including economic uncertainty and the introduction of the National Living Wage in 2016, it is clear that a further cut in duty should be considered in order to help sustain the momentum across the beer industry.”

The beer and pub industry brings in £13 billion in tax revenue to the Exchequer each year and supports nearly 900,000 jobs. 

CAMRA chief executive Tim Page, said: "This independent research from Cebr shows that any cut in beer duty is beneficial to both the entire pub and brewing industry and to the wider economy.

“Without the last three cuts, beer prices would be higher and there would be fewer pubs. A fourth cut would keep the price of a pint down and keep pubs open.

“If the Chancellor goes ahead and increases beer duty, the danger is that we could be placing all the benefits that have been achieved over the last three years at risk. In some cases that could mean jeopardising the existence of some breweries and pubs, and the jobs of the large number of people that work for them.

“Crucially, it is the customer who could suffer with increased prices, a reduced choice of beers and a reduced choice of pubs to visit."

The British Beer and Pub Association is campaigning hard for a cut to beer duty.

Chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “This important report adds even more weight to the convincing case for a cut in beer duty in the Budget.

“The fact that 550 pubs are at risk if the tax on beer is raised as planned should be real pause for thought in the Treasury.

“Instead, a 1p duty cut would boost confidence and investment, adding to the momentum that three beer duty cuts have already given to the brewing and pub sector.”

Related topics: Beer

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