‘Widespread public concern’ over ‘sky-high’ beer tax rates

By Georgina Townshend contact

- Last updated on GMT

Sky high: survey shows 55% of people believe 54p beer duty is too high
Sky high: survey shows 55% of people believe 54p beer duty is too high

Related tags: Beer duty, Public house

A survey has found that there is ‘widespread public concern over the sky-high rates of tax on British beer’, with taxes now making up a third of the cost of a pint.

Research published yesterday (8 August) by YouGov for the Campaign for Real Ale (CAMRA) has found that 55% of people who expressed an opinion believe beer duty is too high at 54p per pint – a situation “made worse” in the spring Budget when the Government announced the first rise in beer duty in four years.

In response to the survey, CAMRA is urging the Government to “turn back the clock” and freeze beer duty once again.

Ease the tax burden

CAMRA national chairman Colin Valentine said if people can’t afford to visit their local, we will see “even more pubs close their doors forever – hurting jobs, the local economy and the community”.

“We urgently need to ease the tax burden on our pubs in order to ensure that pub-going remains an affordable activity for the majority of Brits,” he said.

According to CAMRA, the spring Budget U-turn undid many of the benefits of the three beer duty cuts and “risks a return to the days of the much-hated Beer Duty Escalator, which other research showed has contributed to 75,000 job losses, 3,700 pub closures and a 24% fall in beer sales in pubs”.

Action is needed

British Beer & Pub Association chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “This YouGov survey shows there is widespread public concern over the sky-high rates of tax on British beer.

“This is totally understandable – beer tax rates are three times higher than the EU average, five times higher than in Belgium, and an astonishing 11 times higher than in Germany.

“Further increases, including inflation-based rises, are unsustainable if we want to protect Britain’s brewers and pubs. Action is needed from the Chancellor in the autumn Budget.” 

Related topics: Beer

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