Pint becoming 'unaffordable luxury'

By Rebecca Weller

- Last updated on GMT

Clarity and certainty: BBPA calls for relief ahead of Autumn Statement to help sector survive difficult winter (Credit: Getty/Shaun Taylor)
Clarity and certainty: BBPA calls for relief ahead of Autumn Statement to help sector survive difficult winter (Credit: Getty/Shaun Taylor)

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The cost-of-living crisis is leading consumers to see having a pint in their local pub as an “unaffordable luxury” the British Beer & Pub Association (BBPA) has stated.

With the cost of doing business, energy prices and the cost-of-living crisis accelerating for both consumers and businesses, the BBPA has urged Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to provide “clarity” and “relief” in the Autumn Statement on Thursday 17 November to help the sector survive “difficult winter”.

BBPA chief executive Emma McClarkin said: “Rising costs are compounded by inflation on key ingredients, severe staffing shortages and a cost-of-living crisis that is leading customers to see a pint in their local as an unaffordable luxury.

Clarity and certainty 

“[On] Thursday, we desperately need the Chancellor provide relief to the cost of doing business, but we also need clarity and certainty for our pubs and brewers that energy support will continue beyond the initial six months.”

This comes as figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS​) yesterday (Monday 14 November) revealed food and drink service businesses were more likely to cut their weekly trade by at least two days in November than any other industry in the UK to combat soaring energy costs.

Furthermore, trade bodies from across the sector earlier this week called on Hunt to recognise hospitality businesses as a “critical​” part of the UK’s economic recovery, calling for the beer duty freeze to be reinstated, a reduction to VAT and a reformation of the business rates system.

Extreme pressure 

McClarkin added: “[These] figures clearly demonstrate how vulnerable our industry is, with 50 pubs a month currently closing their doors for good, without some long-term guarantee many more will not be able to survive what is set to be a very difficult winter.

“The figures [also] highlight the extreme pressure extortionate energy costs continue to have on our pubs and brewers and the tough decisions they are being forced to make to keep serving their communities.

“Many have already taken drastic measures, reducing trading hours or even days on which they open and we’re not even into the coldest months yet.”

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