Public wants action to help British brewers and pubs

By James Beeson

- Last updated on GMT

Under the cosh: the Government plans to increase beer duty again
Under the cosh: the Government plans to increase beer duty again

Related tags: Beer duty, Beer, British beer & pub association

The general public overwhelmingly supports the Government taking action to support the brewing industry, according to a new YouGov poll.

Of those surveyed more than two to one want the Government to take some form of action (55% to 24%).

In terms of specific policies to support pubs, freezing or reducing beer duty was the most popular policy, with 46% support, with reducing business rates second on 43%. 

Almost eight out of 10 (78%) people think pubs are important to local communities, with only 19% saying they are not important.

Sky-high business rates

The poll was commissioned by the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA), which is campaigning for a cut in beer duty in this week’s Budget.

The Government plans for yet another increase in Britain’s already high rate of beer duty. In 2016, the EU average duty rate was three times lower than the British rate and sky-high business rates bills for pubs have been the catalysts for driving the high-profile campaign.

BBPA chief executive Brigid Simmonds said: “This new poll shows there is huge public support for action to help brewers and pubs in the Budget. The public understands the vital role pubs play in all our communities and almost 900,000 jobs depend on the brewing and pub sector.

“The Government now needs to take action, with a cut in beer duty in the Budget next week.”

MP calls for ABV variation

Speaking at the launch of BBPA’s campaign last week, Nigel Evans MP called on Chancellor Philip Hammond to follow George Osborne’s lead and reduce the duty on beer.

He also called for a variation on duty, which could see lower ABV drinks taxed less.

“We’re trying to encourage people to drink less strong beers, so if there is a possibility that [the Chancellor] could introduce a different rate for beers between 2.8% and 3.5%, people may stay a bit longer in pubs,” he said. 

Related topics: Beer

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