Beer duty

BBPA release ‘The Story of Beer Duty’

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Story: Simmonds said the report showed the duty drop in 2013 was 'more than a gimmick'
Story: Simmonds said the report showed the duty drop in 2013 was 'more than a gimmick'

Related tags: Beer duty escalator, Public house, Beer

The British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has published a report detailing how abolishing the beer duty escalator helped the pub and beer sector.

The Story of Beer Duty: 2008 – 2016’​ was published in partnership with the Society for Independent Brewers (SIBA) and the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) in a bid to show two separate approaches to beer duty between 2008 and 2016.

The beer duty escalator was scrapped in 2013 by then Chancellor George Osborne following heavy lobbying by the industry and The Sun​ newspaper.

Campaigning, alongside a penny being knocked off a pint led to a turnaround in the sector as beer sales have stabilised and 2014 saw the first year of beer sales growth in a decade.

The report highlights the damage the beer duty​ escalator did to the industry; duty soared to 42% between 2008 and 2012 while, at the same time, beer sales fell by a phenomenal 18.5%, 3,700 pubs closed and 75,000 jobs were lost.


The BBPA has argued that it is more important than ever that the Government protects Britain’s beer and pubs and the body recently released a manifesto outlining how the sector can continue to grow and create jobs following Brexit.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said The Story of Beer Duty ​illustrated that the ‘penny off a pint’ three years ago was more than a gimmick.

She said: “The effects of the removal of the beer duty​ escalator have been extraordinary and I am proud the BBPA, alongside SIBA and CAMRA, played such a key role in its abolition.”

“We will continue to work with the Government as the process of leaving the European Union begins.

“Given that we still pay 40% of the total beer tax bill in Europe, but only consume 13% of the product, it is vital that there are no increases in beer duty.

“It is also vital that Britain’s beer and pubs are protected so the sector can continue to be a powerful source of growth and jobs.”

Scrapping the duty

SIBA managing director Mike Benner said the organisation was proud to have been part of the process to scrap the beer duty escalator.

He added: “This, along with subsequent duty cuts, has had a hugely positive effect on the beer industry by keeping prices affordable for consumers and encouraging investment into independent craft breweries and it is essential that support for this great British industry continues.”

CAMRA national chairman Colin Valentine agreed with the figures on reductions on beer tax having had a positive impact on the trade.

He said: “A report commissioned by CAMRA found that three consecutive cuts in beer duty and the abolition of the beer duty escalator have helped stem the number of pub closures and supported more than 26,000 additional jobs.

“Any future hikes in beer duty would curb the good work the Government has done to support pubs and drive people to drink at home rather than in their local pub.”

Related topics: Legislation

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